*Eyewitness Updates* West, Texas Explosion

West Fire and Explosion - AP Photo
Photo: Associated Press

UPDATE: Darby will appear on BBC World Service Radio at 6:30 AM EDT to discuss the information he has received in Waco. Listen here.

Breitbart News’s Brandon Darby is on the scene as an eyewitness in West, Texas in the aftermath of a fertilizer plant explosion early Wednesday evening. Breitbart News will provide updates on the situation throughout the night.

1:00 AM EDT: The triage location for wounded and evacuees has been moved from a local high school football field to West’s Community Center.

1:06 AM EDT: Mass confusion, echoing Hurricane Katrina. Remaining residents of affected nursing home will be moved to nursing home in Clifton, TX. Officials expect this secondary site will not be able to house all evacuees and are searching for a third site.

1:16 AM EDT: Some West residents still trapped in houses. Authorities fear additional explosions.

1:59 AM EDT: Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) have arrived on scene.

2:12 AM EDT: Many missing reported to be firefighters/other first responders caught in initial explosion. Some believe water used to put out plant fire reacted with ammonia in fertilizer and contributed to explosion.

2:28 AM EDT: Three West residents say that concerned citizens tried to get the county to draft emergency plans for such a situation four months ago, but the county did not follow through.

2:32 AM EDT: Responder on scene: All helicopters sent away due to high winds. First wave of post-explosion first responders sent home, will return in morning.

2:34 AM EDT: Source at base of operations: “Any more bodies we find will probably not be alive.” Fires have not yet been extinguished, but fires are cooling and worries lessening over further explosions.

2:42 AM EDT: More federal agents arriving at EMS base of operations, Hilton in Waco. Texas State Rep Kyle Kacal and State Sen Brian Birdwell confirmed en route.

2:43 AM EDT: More locals upset over lack of county emergency plans, insist they raised issue in August to deaf ears. Say county unprepared.

2:47 AM EDT: Source at base of ops: First responders being sent away because they expect any remaining  to be dead.

2:53 AM EDT: ATF and State Fire Marshall presence does not indicate foul play. They have to show up for such crises even when accidental.

2:55 AM EDT: Military on scene. Fort Hood carrying out search and rescue operations.

Confirmed: First set of firefighters can’t be found—three firefighters, one police officer, ten EMS.

3:09 AM EDT: Confirmed: last live victim pulled out of nursing home 90 minutes ago.

Staging area for search & rescue is Lacy Lakeview community center. Reportedly in need of phone chargers there.

3:19 AM EDT: Fires still have not all been extinguished.

3:26 AM EDT: An HEMS base was near the plant. Multiple helicopters were damaged, contrary to claim from Waco police presser. One HEMS chopper was damaged by collision with an airborne animal while a patient was on board. It landed and another came to transport patient.

3:29 AM EDT: State Rep. Kyle Kacal has arrived. Kacal serves Texas’s 12th district, which includes West and Waco.

4:33 AM EDT: Rep. Kacal provides this exclusive statement to Breitbart News: “We need America’s prayers and thoughts for the people of West, Texas. We need people to participate in the blood drive over the next few days. Seeing the first responders from around central Texas help their neighbors has been incredible.”

4:58 AM EDT: Contrary to earlier reports, a first responder source claims that no more than 20 of the 133 residents at the nursing home near the plant were evacuated. Approximately 100 people inside the home are expected to have died. Source says the dead will be left until daylight, then removed.

6:33 AM EDT: Breitbart News has contacted the two largest nursing homes in Clifton, TX to confirm that they received nursing home residents from West. An individual at Daybreak Venture Nursing Home in Clifton said the facility received eleven residents. Goodall-Witcher Nursing Facility said no residents from the West nursing home were transported to their facility.


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