Just watched the footage of this and it's seriously bad. Huge fire being attended by firefighters just exploded.
Why is there a fertiliser factory in the centre of a community!?
I hope this isnt another attack, and just a random fire. Bit it IS very near Waco and we have just had Boston.
Many casualties in Texas Waco fertiliser plant blast
Scores of people are reported injured and an unknown number feared dead after a huge explosion at a fertiliser plant near Waco in the US state of Texas.
Dozens of homes and buildings have been destroyed, and several are still on fire, after the West Fertilizer plant exploded at about 19:50 (00:50 GMT).
Some people are thought still to be trapped in buildings and a number of firefighters are reported missing.
An official confirmed there were deaths, but could not give a figure.
It was like being in a tornado. Stuff was flying everywhere. It blew out my windshield. It was like the whole earth shook.”Debby Marak, witness
Dean Wilson, of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told a news conference that they were still conducting house-to-house searches.
He said the fire was still smouldering and that no firefighters were tackling it as there was the risk of further explosions.
Half the town had been evacuated, he added.
The Waco Tribune-Herald reported that firefighters had been trying to put out a fire at the plant when the explosion happened, and that some were among those injured.
The blast happened in West, a town of about 2,700 people some 20 miles (32km) north of Waco.
TV images showed streams of emergency vehicles descending on the site and ambulance crews using a nearby sports field as an emergency treatment area.
Glenn A Robinson, chief executive of Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco, told CNN that his hospital had received 66 injured people including 38 who were seriously hurt.
He said the hospital was seeing "everything from orthopaedic injuries to patients that are experiencing serious blood loss".
McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said: "It's a lot of devastation. I've never seen anything like this. It looks like a war zone with all the debris."Local emergency workers were mobilised to the scene
Unconfirmed reports said a nursing home had collapsed in the explosion and some people were believed trapped inside.
Witness Debby Marak told the Associated Press news agency that she had seen smoke coming from the area near the plant and had driven over to see what was happening.
She said that when she arrived, two boys ran towards her screaming that the authorities had told them to leave because the fertiliser plant was going to explode.
She said she drove a short distance before the blast happened.
"It was like being in a tornado," she said. "Stuff was flying everywhere. It blew out my windshield. It was like the whole earth shook."
Another resident told KWTX-TV that she heard several explosions from 13 miles (20km) away.
"It sounded like three bombs going off very close to us,'' said Lydia Zimmerman.
The air in town was still covered in acrid smoke more than two hours after the explosion.
The area around the site was littered with shards of wood, bricks and glass.
Texas Governor Rick Perry said in a statement: "We are monitoring developments and gathering information as details continue to emerge about this incident.
"We have also mobilised state resources to help local authorities. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of West, and the first responders on the scene."