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A massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in the small Texas town of West prompted a widescale evacuation in the community of 2,600 people. Authorities say a massive fire and explosion at a downtown fertilizer plant killed as many as 15 people Wednesday evening and injured more than 160 others. Several firefighters are still missing.

The blast, which was felt 50 miles away and registered as a magnitude 2.1 earthquake, destroyed homes and buildings, including a nursing home and an apartment complex, and blanketed the area in a cloud of toxic fumes.

Fire officials fear that the number of casualties could rise much higher.

West-Texas-fertilizer-plant-explosion

West Texas fertilizer plant explosion

The blast took place at the West Fertilizer Plant, about 18 miles north of Waco. It sent a massive fireball into the sky.

The pope is using his Twitter account to ask followers to pray for victims of a fatal fertilizer plant explosion in a small Texas town.

In a message posted Thursday morning, Pope Francis said: “Please join me in praying for the victims of the explosion in Texas and their families.”

Credit: Intl. News Sources

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