Hundreds of people have been injured following an explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas, US media has reported. Possible casualties are also feared.
The explosion hit the West Fertilizer Plant around 100 kilometers south of Dallas at 7.50 p.m. local time on Wednesday (0050 UTC Thursday). Images from a local television station showed a fire in progress at the plant. The plant then exploded, launching a fireball high into the air and shaking the area.
A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, D.L. Wilson, told news agency Reuters the blast had probably caused "hundreds of casualties" and damaged many homes.
McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said a retirement home near the plant had collapsed and that people were believed to be trapped inside.
In a statement Texas Governor Rick Perry said his office had "mobilized state resources to help local authorities" deal with the incident.
More to come …
ccp/mz (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)