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Search and rescue efforts continue after fertilizer plant explosion in Texas

Emergency crews in the small community of West, Texas, continue to search for victims of a fertilizer plant explosion Wednesday night.
West, Texas (CNN/WSYR-TV) -- Emergency crews in the small community of West, Texas, continue to search for victims of a fertilizer plant explosion Wednesday night.

Rescue crews estimate that between five and 15 people have been killed and more than 160 injured. The explosion rocked the small town, leveling homes and destroying a community.

Investigators aren’t sure what caused the blast and are worried that another tank at the plant might explode.

Sergeant Patrick Swanton with the Waco Police Department said their number one priority at this point is to rescue and save lives.

A nearby apartment complex was destroyed and homes were turned into rubble.

Texas Governor Rick Perry declared McLennan County a disaster area on Thursday.

"Last night was truly a nightmare scenario. Anyone that grew up like your dad did in a small town like West know that this tragedy has most likely hit every family. It's touched practically everyone in that town,” Governor Perry said.

One West resident described the blast, “It was like a bomb. It like, picked you up, it just took your breath away, and then it dropped you and it exploded everything around you.”

The blast was so big, it registered as a 2.1 magnitude seismic event.

As authorities investigate what caused the explosion, a community is now left to heal. Much of the town is cordoned off as authorities try to piece together just what happened Wednesday night.

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