West Texas Plant Explosion Injures More Than 100, Levels Homes

Victims said an explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant sounded like a "massive" bomb.
3:00 | 04/16/13

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Transcript for West Texas Plant Explosion Injures More Than 100, Levels Homes
Just a few hours ago there was a tremendous explosion. At a fertilizer plant. Just north of Waco. It's. Under -- You can see -- that you get a -- to the tremendous. Force. That was released in that explosion the fertile -- fertilizer plant blowing up. Witnesses saw a fireball a hundred feet in the air resolving itself into a towering cloud over the plains of Texas. We are hearing that more than a 170. People have been injured more than twenty of those critically. Told by police in the area that there are fatalities confirmed fatalities they don't want to give us the exact number at this point that explosion that you just saw. Registered a two point one. On the richter scale according to the US GS just -- devastating explosion the department of public safety in Texas is telling us. That somewhere between seventy and a hundred buildings nearby. We're completely devastated among those buildings and apartment building and a nursing home a middle school. Rescue workers are now going house to house to see who might be there who needs help there's a tremendous mass casualty event. On the plains of Texas. NR ABC's Steve ocean -- is on the scene right now with the reports they've. Terry we just let that -- odds that are where authorities are waiting and hoping that as they search. This nursing home that was was badly destroyed. And as they searched this apartment building that they are able to perform rescues tonight there are at least a dozen ambulances there waiting. Many medical personnel hoping that they can treat people on the scene a number of people have been airlifted to local hospitals. We're right now about a mile or two away from the plant and you conceive. Just see what it. Explosives did to windows of businesses nearby just. -- shattered the windows and some of these businesses we talked with some of the residents who were as many as twenty and thirty miles away and they say. They felt it. In their homes. You this cell phone video captured the raging fire -- fertilizer plant in west Texas onlookers and water treatment and then. -- rocked by an explosion so powerful it registered a two point one on the richter scale. It's stuck to doors out of a bill didn't come -- some of my friend Bob -- it looked like. He remembers the and they add up at atomic -- you know that -- -- well there was right. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- fire spread from house to house across this town. You can imagine what kind of damage we're looking -- I know the release. Fifty -- 75 houses. Apartment complex it has about. Skeletons standing. The injured were rushed to local football field that -- turned into a makeshift field hospital. Those seriously injured were flown by helicopter to area hospitals we arrived at that triage center near that high school football field where authorities -- -- For anyone they might find in that nursing home or what's left of that apartment building in the search and rescue was ongoing and and the hundreds of paramedics and firefighters gathered here. Are on the ready. Dozens of ambulances lined up ready to move the injured to local hospitals. Scary families who live nearby told us it sounded like a bomb like an earthquake it shattered their windows miles away from the blast it sound like a boom earned. Yeah yeah. This little girl told us it felt like a rock hit her town tradition -- Dozens of ambulances lined up ready to move the injured to local hospitals. We are now going through door to door in evaluating that area and searching. 44. Survivors as well or deceased. Families who came here who lives nearby told us it sounded like a bomb like an earthquake -- shatter -- windows miles away from the blast. This little girl told us it felt like a rock hit her town what it sound like again. It sounded like -- Did it sound like a -- Either and I'm Paul. Yeah give any friends or family who was who lives back here yes we and daily lives lost their houses. -- making sure nobody needs a place to stay Rob Blake is sleeping bags pillows -- good -- of. -- needed the clothes that -- -- people and their wheelchairs being good with. Bandages wrapped fell over a level not even handed up blood all over their -- dollar today. And cool weather and -- I think every. Detective George will be felt the blast at his house forty miles away is. To -- -- -- -- -- School. -- -- homes. At the west -- all the windows were blown out broken glass scattered on the sidewalk. We're gonna build back it's not the end of the world it's just. This is -- cut that we got -- the heart. There are some concerns of all. What might be in the air right now there's a dust in the air but there are some worries that there could be chemicals -- -- the people are breathing. We talked to a number of people who knew some of the firefighters who were hurt. In this incident they say that they were at least a few firefighters who were hurt her badly in this instance. And also some people who -- folks who were at the nursing homes everybody we talk with who lived in this town had some connection. Someone who was -- that we believe that there are certainly. Thank you Steve -- -- Sami. In that small town of west Texas reeling from this devastating explosion more than a 170. People injured. As you heard Steve report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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