West mayor says death toll is 35 in fertilizer plant explosion - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports


West mayor says death toll is 35 in fertilizer plant explosion

The mayor of the town West, Texas, said 35 people were killed in a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant.  Dozens remain hospitalized.

The Dallas Fire-Rescue department said one of its off-duty fire captains was killed while helping fight the blaze. Captain Kenny Harris lived in West and wasn't on duty when he decided to lend a hand to volunteer firefighters.  Harris was a 52-year-old married father of three grown sons. The Dallas Fire-Rescue chaplain and other members of department are in West to help comfort his family.

Hospital officials said they've treated everyone from children, to first responders, to nursing home residents. More than 160 patients were injured in the blast.

The explosion occurred Wednesday night, damaging or destroying buildings within a half-mile radius.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are attempting to determine the cause of the explosion.

Investigators said the area where the explosion happened is still a "very volatile situation."

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