Preparedness & Recovery

Fire Captain Among 14 Bodies Recovered from Texas Plant Explosion

At least two first responders are among the dead and 60 people still missing.

by News Staff / April 19, 2013
This aerial photo shows a view of homes on the north side of the fertilizer plant explosion site Thursday, April 18, 2013, in West, Texas. A massive explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. killed as many as 15 people and injured more than 160, officials said. The explosion that struck around 8 p.m. Wednesday, sent flames shooting into the night sky and rained burning embers and debris down on shocked and frightened residents. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Fourteen bodies, including that of Dallas Fire Department Capt. Kenny Harris, have been recovered from the fertilizer plant in West, Texas, that was leveled by an explosion on April 17, and about 60 people were still unaccounted for as of April 21, according to authorities. In addition, more than 200 people were injured.

A massive blast flattened a fertilizer plant as emergency medical and fire personnel and responded to a fire at the plant in the town of 2,800. At least two of the dead are believed to be first responders.

A huge boom that witnesses said echoed for miles was heard as the explosion leveled West Fertilizer Co., badly damaged a 50-unit apartment complex and at least 50 homes in a five-block area, according to a CNN report.

The explosion, which was ignited by a fire at the plant, registered as a magnitude 2.1 seismic event, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Editor's note: This article was updated on April 22.