West, Texas residents have begun describing the horror and heroics of last night’s fertiliser plant explosion that killed at least 10 people, damaged more than 75 homes, and injured more than 170 victims in a town of 2,700.
“The school’s gone, the apartments are gone,” a young man wearing a blood-soaked t-shirt told reporters. “It’s just horrible. Not something you ever want to have to deal with.”
One man who spoke with CBS News described his experience as he entered the town after the blast.
“As we rolled into town, we pulled up to the retirement home because we knew that they would need help. The windows were blown out. Doors were gone. As we went into the building, the ceiling was down … When we would go into each room the sheet rock was on top of patients. As quick as I could I could get that. The halls were in devastation … I pulled out 16 people. I carried two at one time to hurry up and try and get them out because I knew how bad it was. From there we went to the next wing to make sure it was clear.”
The retirement home along with the school were just blocks from the plant. A local Fox affiliate reported that roughly 133 patients, including some in wheelchairs, were evacuated from the nursing facility.
This man’s quick and valiant response to the instant devastation arose partly from the fact that the community is very tight-knit. Sadly this will make the impact of casualties even worse.
“You could just hear screaming through the town,” resident Crystal Ledane, who was in her yard when the blast occurred, told MSNBC. “Everyone has grown up around here. This town is going to be dealing with this for many, many years to come.“
Watch the CBS interview (begins at 1:54) below:
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