On Wednesday April 17 around 7:50 pm, there was a massive explosion at the West Fertilizer Plant approximately 18 miles north of small town Waco, Texas. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, this little community is home to roughly 2,800 people. The fertilizer pant explosion sent an enormous fireball and a massive mushroom cloud of smoke up into the sky alerting emergency responders from all surrounding areas. The explosion blast was registered at a magnitude of 2.1 by the U.S. Geological Survey, which is similar to that of a minor earthquake. Dozens of emergency vehicles showed up and responders began treating injury victims on a nearby football while the fire was still smoldering.
So far there have been roughly 200 people injured in the blast who are seeking medical attention at the Hillcrest Hospital in Waco, along with two other nearby hospitals. Injury victims are streaming in with severe lacerations, orthopedic injuries, head trauma, broken bones, minor burns and respiratory problems. There were six helicopters at the scene that were assisting with medical transfers for the seriously injured. All others were either transported by ambulance or other vehicles. Tragically there have also been 12 bodies recovered and pulled out of the plant explosion. As of Friday they were still unsure if any who were killed were first responders. Many off duty fireman from the surrounding fire departments responded to help with the fire.
Shortly after the blast state troopers were making their way into the scene wearing gas masks for extra precaution. The blast had also set a nearby nursing home and apartment complex up in flames and about 75 homes were damaged. Some residences that were not too far from the scene were completely flattened and others had their windows blown out from the pressure of the explosion. Residents who live near the blast have all been asked to evacuate for the time being because they are worried that another tank might explode and the danger may not be over. The major concern at this point is the danger of anhydrous ammonia. Information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that this is a powerful gas that is comprised of asphyxiating fumes and it is commonly used in fertilizer. When humans are exposed to anhydrous ammonia however, it could lead to serious health implications.
With part of the community completely gone, the people of Waco, TX are trying to piece everything back together. There was an investigation team sent by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board headed to the scene to look further into the cause of the explosion. In the meantime, the Red Cross is trying to step in to find adequate shelter for the people evacuated from their homes. President Obama also stepped forwards and made a formal statement regarding the tragic incident just thanking all the emergency responders. He also stated that his registration will be making efforts to ensure that all needs are met for the people of Waco and that they have the support of the rest of the American people.
If you or a loved one was a victim of injury in the Waco fertilizer plant explosion, then you should seek immediate legal counsel. Here at Mukerji Law Firm our team of Houston personal injury attorneys are standing by ready to help. Our mission is to represent the little guy while going after the big guys. It is not your responsibility to pay for the damages of your injury. Let us fight to recover compensation on your behalf. Contact our Houston firm to schedule your free case evaluation today!
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