A massive explosion at a fertilizer plant rocked the town of West, Texas around 8 p.m. C.T. on Wednesday night. The blast could be felt as far as 45 miles away, according to The Dallas Morning News
. The U.S. Geological Survey said
the explosion registered as a 2.1 magnitude earthquake.
During a press conference held around midnight, Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials said more than 100 people were injured and possibly five to 15 people were killed. A DPS spokesperson called it an “unbelievable tragedy.”
West, Texas is located just north of Waco.
Dramatic images and videos of the mushroom cloud created by the blast were shared on Twitter. For instance:
The hashtag #WestTX
became the No. 1 trending topic overnight, as tweets poured in with reports from the scene, as well as calls for prayers, blood donations, and shelter for those in harm’s way. A number of websites were also created for people to find loved ones and lost pets.
The explosion occurred after a fire broke out in the West Fertilizer plant, according to The Dallas Morning News
. Several firefighters battling the blaze were unaccounted for after the blast. The cause of the fire is unknown.
A man captured video of the explosion and posted it to YouTube. Beware, the video is disturbing: