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Breaking News

Prayers for West

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Todd Staples
Texas Department of Agriculture
April 18, 2013, 10:34am
3,270 views | 9 comments

Returning from Dallas last night on I-35, southbound traffic came to a complete standstill several miles north of Waco, something not too unusual and always dreaded. While stopped, we first noticed one, then two, then lost count of the numerous emergency vehicles hurrying along the service road and the shoulders of the road -- all headed south. At first, it appeared there must be a horrific traffic accident up ahead. Then, snippets coming across FOX News described the fertilizer plant explosion near Waco, which we now know occurred in the historic and often visited town of West, Texas.

After an hour and a half parked on I-35, the traffic began to move. As we approached West, you could immediately sense the enormity of what had occurred. The smell from the explosion was distinct in the air as we approached. Then, passing over the main crossroad in town, emergency vehicles were lined up east and west as far as you could see. Massive smoke clouds lingered to the east of I-35. Search and rescue aircraft where overhead beaming down massive lights to aid those below. Even driving past West, for miles, you could see countless emergency vehicles headed north toward the scene.

The headline of the Wall Street Journal this morning reports the blast killed five to fifteen. Area hospitals are flooded with the injured seeking aid and the damage, not yet fully assessed, is extreme.

It appears, several of those killed were emergency personnel, they bravely rushed into danger to save lives, but these heroes were struck down when the initial fire erupted into a terrible explosion. Remember this small community in your prayers today, and the emergency responders who raced to their rescue.

Your Opinions and Comments

Eugene T Drzymala Sr  
Stockdale, TX  
April 30, 2013 9:11pm
I have just returned from HEB where I made a three dollar donation. There were about 5 people behind me and I just couldn't help but to think if everyone would donate just $3.00 West could really use the money. So please... More ›

Elaine K.  
April 30, 2013 12:20pm
The following statement was received from Tom Pauken. Dallas, Texas -- Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Pauken called on state leaders to release information regarding compliance of West Fertilizer with applicable state... More ›

April 19, 2013 9:50am
Lyssy & Eckel 's fertilizer plant and feed mill beside Poth stadium and practice field should be a concern! Think about terrorists!

Nannette Kilbey-Smith, Editor  
April 19, 2013 8:49am
Area residents wishing to help the community of West can donate through H-E-B's statewide checkstand donation campaign benefiting the Red Cross in response to the devastation. One hundred percent of the donations will... More ›

Elaine K.  
April 18, 2013 3:06pm
Thank the Lord that this did not happen when school was in session and the factory filled with workers. It was nothing short of a miracle that there weren't more fatalities.

William J. Gibbs Jr.  
April 18, 2013 12:19pm

Nannette Kilbey-Smith, Editor  
April 18, 2013 12:16pm
The Texas 4-H and Youth Development Program and the Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation have established a fund at the Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation that will go to support the recovery efforts in West, Texas. To... More ›

James Rethaber  
Floresville, TX  
April 18, 2013 11:23am
Thoughts and prayers to the families and the entire West community, as well as the first responders and other emergency personnel risking their lives during this tragic time...

Nannette Kilbey-Smith, Editor  
April 18, 2013 11:08am
Texas Sen. John Cornyn addressed the Senate in Washington, D.C. about the tragedy earlier today: “I have come to the floor to ask for another prayer for the small town of West, Texas… “We're seeing the resilience of a tight-knit,... More ›

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