WEST, Texas — Rescuers searched the smoking remnants of a Texas farm town Thursday for survivors of a thunderous fertilizer plant explosion, gingerly checking smashed houses and apartments for anyone still trapped in debris or bodies of the dead. The accident killed as many as 15 people and injured more than 160 others.
Daylight revealed a breathtaking band of destruction extending for a four- or five-block radius around the West Fertilizer Co. in the small community of West, about 20 miles north of Waco. The blast shook the ground with the strength of a small earthquake and leveled homes, apartments, a school and a nursing home. Its dull boom could be heard dozens of miles away.