18 April 2013

CENTRAL TEXAS / CZECH REP: 19 April UPDATE: Fertilizer Blast Search Ends; 14 Confirmed Dead; 200 Injured.

         A small fire Wednesday at a fertilizer plant in the tiny central Texas town of West... turned into a horrific inferno after an explosion...that killed 14..and injured at least 200...safety officials reported.
         The Czech Republic sent an official to the small town...because West is heavily populated with Americans of Czech ancestry.
        Officials now report that 142 buildings were leveled or damaged in the town of 2,800.
        14 of the dead were volunteer first responders.
          Witnesses say the blast from the exploding giant anhydrous ammonia tanks at the plant felt like a small earthquake.
     Scientists report a tremor that registered 2.1 on the Richter scale...and was noted 80 miles away.
     It blew a hole 93 feet in diameter...and 10 feet deep.
          Rescuers continue searching thru the rubble of a nearby nursing home, a school, a 50-unit apartment complex...and dozens of homes.
       Much of the town was evacuated. 
       West is famous for cheap gas...and delicious kolaches sold by its roadside Czech bakeries...during rest stops for weary travelers on the busy I-35 route from Austin to Dallas.