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tv   Piers Morgan Live  CNN  April 17, 2013 9:00pm-9:59pm PDT

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and makes things better. in that spirit, verizon is proud to announce the powerful answers award. 10 million dollars in prizes for the best ideas. ideas so big, they have the power to change everything. whether it's our inspiration, or yours, the world's biggest challenges deserve even bigger solutions. the powerful answers award from verizon. this is cnn breaking news. >> this is piers morgan live with views in the united states and around the world. it's midnight here on the east
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coast, 9:00 p.m. on the west coast. in texas, a spectacular explosion causing unknown numbers of injuries. a neerk hospital has been told to expect at least a hundred patients. a triage is set up on the football field near the plant. there are two confirmed dead at a massive explosion in west the moment and there are fears texas at a fertilizer plant that the death tolls could rise much, much higher. explodes. on the phone now is barry also tonight, the latest on the boston marathon bombings. murray, an eyewitness to the explosion who's being evacuated federal and state agencies right now to waco. showed two men near the mr. murray, this is a terrible finishing line. situation. law enforcement tells us high where were you when the explosion happened? interest and possible suspects. one of the men are seen carrying >> we live about a mile from the a black backpack. fertilizer plant. the attached photos are being and we were just in our living room and it felt like a bomb circulated in an attempt to identify the individuals highlighted therein. went off. feel free to pass this around to fellow agents elsewhere. cnn is not showing the photos, was not describing the men. there were probably about a we don't want to tip them off. bunch of folks and everyone went we begin tonight with that huge explosion tonight.
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outside and went to figure out hazardous material crews have what happened. been rushed to the scene. witnesses say it sounds like a bomb went off. with me is glen robinson, the we went down a couple blocks. ceo of the hospital in waco. >> and the damage that we're seeing in the pictures, all over can you tell me at the moment how big you believe the west, really horrible. have you any estimate from what you've seen of how many injury toll is as we stand? properties may have been either totalled or badly damaged? >> at this time, i can certainly give you the numbers that we're aware of in our particular system. can you still hear me mr. we're one of 12 hospitals in our system. murray? wech received a total of 66 emergency vehicles and we have no, we've lost mr. murray. at least two more choppers that we know are inbound at this time mr. westrob, can you hear me? bringing us additional patients who have been injured. >> i can. >> am i right? are you a resident of west? >> no, i live in waco texas. i would say that in talking to >> about 18 miles away? >> about 25 miles. >> right. our trama surgeons just a few did you feel this there? minutes ago, many of the we're getting reports from people as much as 40 miles away. injuries that we're seeing are not extremely critical. >> no, we didn't feel this in waco. >> right.
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what do you know about what is currently going on there in terms of the battle with the maybe about 12 patients that fire? >> unaware of that, we are would be classified as serious condition. we have two patients in the operating room. we have two more patient that is trying to deal with the are being assessed at this time casualties that are showing up at our hospital right now. >> i'm sorry. and heading to the operating room shortly. are you a doctor at the hospital? we also have transported this >> no, i'm a ceo of providence evening two pediatric patients health center y waco. to our children's hospital to >> right, i've got you. let me regroup with you. receive a higher level of how many people have you had brought to your hospital? subspecialties here that we felt was appropriate for them. i am being told that burn >> thus far, we've had 37 people patients are being direct ed to brought to the hospital. only one of those 37 people was critically injured. >> we're getting reports of as the dallas ft. worth texas, many as 200 people injured. are you hearing numbers of that nature? >> actually, i haven't heard which is about an hour from here. numbers that high after our so it's hard to say for sure how initial report was over a hundred injured that we would many we will see before the night is over. but the good news is that we expect in waco between the two hospitals here. and i know there's been quite a few over at the other hospital across town. should begin to see things and, as i said, we know we have easing here within the next hour or two.
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about 20, 25 on the way to us right now. >> the death toll at the moment is three people. but we're being told that there are scores of firefighters who >> the information is that there originally are fighting if tire was a fire at this fertilizer who remainin unaccounted for afr plant and fire officers were attending to the fire when exploezed. the explosion. clearly, there are a large number of properties. we've heard 10, 15, to as many as 60 or more that have been completely flattened by the explosion. >>. >> what we were told initially, and presumably, there are many that there had been an explosion at the west fertilizer plant. people trapped there who have also, tragically, lost their we were also told that it lives. have you any idea what that involved a nearby apartment situation may be? complex, the blast was so large that it impacted that facility as well as an area nursing home >> really don't have any idea of the situation itself. was also adversely impacted. we've just been, heads down, trying to take care of the patients and prepare for even more patients and casualties that come to our orgat i really cannot speak to what's there this evening. we are approximately 18 miles away from the community west. >> do you know how many hospitals are taking in patients
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tonight? >> it's really, if you know, this is something that we never hope happens. but it does make me very proud of the trauma system that we operated our country in. and so we had seen tonight hospitals throughout our regional advisory council that we operate in here, the heart of texas, where the anchor hospital formed this area in combining with our scott white memorial hospital which is 30 miles away. >> and then also, a facility here in our community, providence hospital, has helped and we are all reaching out. staff members have just been incredible. we have had hundreds of personnel that are part of our system that have arrived and are helping out, tending to the patients. and, also, tending to the loved ones.
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i would like to give out a number because i'm sure there are viewers that have family members in this area and would be concerned. they can call 254-202-1100. 254-202-1100. that's a special hotline we've set up for family members to call. we probably would not have any information immediately available for them. but we can begin to pass along information as it becomes available to them. we'll be able to confirm to them over a period of time. >> mr. robinson, thank you very much for joining me. we will try again to speak to you later in the air if that's possible. but i realize you've had a very busy night there. and i appreciate you spending the time talking to us. thank you. >> you bet, thanks. >> on the phone with me now, george smith. he's from the west ems duration. mr. smith, can you hear me? >> yes, i can hear you. >> can you tell me what your
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assessment of this disaster is in terms of injuries and potential fatalityties. >> when i heard the fire, i had the residents move to the oh side of the building. i was there when the explosion went off, so i got trapped in the glass and stuff that fell on me. >> there's been hundreds of people taking to local hospitals. they're trying to help the firefighters that are deceased from the explosion. i've heard very substantial rumors that there are three
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volunteer firefighters that have deceased from the explosion. and i'm with the county justice of the peace with another position in town. we've been told to expect heavy deceased people that we will help pronounce dead. like, right now, they're trying to get the fire under control and trying to get into the building there. >> dr. smith, do you know how many buildings have collapsed to this moment? >> no, because i really can't get to it. my son lives on one of the buildings collapsed. one of the streets closest to there. he was upstairs. he said the upstairs fell downstairs. but he says all of the houses there are totally demolished.
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so there's probably 10-15 places totally demolished. there's probably 50 homes that have been heavily damaged. i have a solid wooden door in my office that blew the door off the hinges. >> and is it likely from what you're telling us that there are still probably many people trapped in these properties that have collapsed? >> that's what we're afraid of. and of course, there's chemicals. we can't get in there because of the smoke and the hazardous chemicals. we can't help anybody if we go down. so we're waiting to get the fire under control and texas tasks force one. so i skppt there's going to be many fatalities and many more critically injured people.
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hopefully, i'm wrong. but that's what i've been told to expect. >> we also understand there's a growing fear about a second fert liezer tank at the plant which people may worry may also explode. is that your understanding? >> yes, they've come to us and told us to be careful. luckily, thank god, we've had a lot of help. we're a little town. we're 2500 people. so we have a lot of fire departments around the mutual aid, a lot of ambulance services rvelgs sheriff's deputies, dps. a lot of people helped uses. >> do most of the people that work at the plant live in west itself? >> yes. i don't think anyone was actually there thatted at the
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plant. i may be wrong, i don't know. >> they may have all gone home to a nearby vicinity? >> yes, 7:15, 7:30. >> i understand there may be a free-my-understanding zone? is that your understanding? >> i understand there may be a three-mile exclusion zone around the plant. is that correct? >>. >> that sounds pretty good. i wouldn't be surprise first-degree they did that, yes. that one explosion was massive that went off. >> and, dr. smith, you also understand that the helicopters have been temporarily grounded. is that correct? >> well, they're telling helicopters to stay at least 3,000 feet high because of the potential. if there's an explosion that
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goes up, that could crash the helicopter. from what i understand, there's 3,000 feet above it. >> and then the football field, how near is that to the actual plant itself? >> it's probably about a mile. >> right. so are they concerned about the safety of people in that field if the second fertilizer tank explodes? >> i haven't been there for a while, but, pretty much, they have most people evacuated. >> i think actually, i'm just hearing that being confirmed, i think, that they have evacuated now from the field. they were using the field to treat people. do you know where they're taking
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people now? >> we're using a community center which is probably five or six miles away. it's at the far, southern end of the town. and the fertilizer plant is at the far northern end of the town. >> and are you and your colleagues and other emergency services able to get to the collapsed properties? or at the moment, can you not do that? >> we can't do that right now because they're still fighting the fire. >> we can't help anybody else if it's not safe to get in. >> obviously, a very dangerous situation for the firefighters continuing to battle the blaze, particularly knowing that so many of their colleagues may have already been injured and
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killed. and with this on going threat of another explosion. >> we appreciate all the prayers we have from the nation and around the world that help protect our firefighters. >> how do you think people are going to come to terms with this? try to deal with it? >> it's going to take quite some time to get things rebuilt. >> i was at the nursing home and
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it blew the windows out, but it's still drivable. i have two other vehicles, i can't get out of the garage. there's a lot of people that don't have transportation. we'll just have to deal with it. it's going to take quite some time. we'll have to stay with relatives and stay other places. >> how many, dr. smith, were residents that work at the plant? do you have a number? >> i really don't have any idea. >> i can't venture a guess. >> would it be hundreds of people? >> no, no, no. working at the fertilizer plant? more like 10 or 20 people. >> right. and how many other people living in west would have some connection to the plant?
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>> see, the other thing that made the explosion worse was not just ammonia. they store grain there and that's extremely explosive. i haven't been over there because they won't let us anywhere close. >> just while you're talking, we have that information hotline. it's 254-202-1100. that is for anyone concerned about anyone that might be in that area. dr. smith, thank you very much. indeed. i'm sure we're going to want to talk to you later, but, for now, you've been extremely helpful. now, on the phone, i have the mayor. mr. mayor, can you hear me? >> yes. >> t this is absolutely a tragedy for west. where were you when the explosion happened? and where are you at the moment?
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>> i eenl rig'm right now at th center outside of west. i was about two blocks away responding to the fire when it exploded. >> we're getting conflicted reports, but it would seem a very large number of people's properties and homes have been -- >> it's about a five-block radius of the fertilizer plant. >> so how many homes do you think have been flattened in this? >> oh, 60, maybe 80. one school, one nursing home, one apartment. >> and do you expect there have been many people that have died in these homes? >> obviously, yeah, it's a huge explosion. so there's going to be casualties.
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they've all been taken to waco hospital. just finally, where were you when the explosion happened? >> i was a couple of blocks -- i'm a member of the fire department, so i was on my way to the fire. >> what was the feeling that you had? >> i was getting ready to see an explosion like that. it's like a nuclear bomb went off. big old mushroom cloud. >> are you a firefighter yourself? >> yes, i'm a firefighter. we're a small town, 2500. we do a lot of double duty around here. >> we have heard from other
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people tonight that some fire fighters have lost their lives from the initial explosion. is that your understanding? >> i haven't confirmed that, no. mr. mayor, i can tell you that obviously want to get back to your duty and i don't want to stop you. >> i appreciate it. thank you so much. >> we wish you all very good wishes and for the people of west. god bless all of you tonight. it sounds an impending disaster for you. >> thank you very much. we'll be in touch, okay? right now to cheryl marich. mrs. marich, can you hear me? >> yes. >> this is obviously an appalling incident that is unfolding in west. where were you when the explosion happened? >> two and a half blocks from the fertilizer plant and in front of my house watching the flames.
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>> and you're married to a firefighter; is that correct? >> yes, he is. >> and has he begun to tackle the blaze? >> yes, he has. we can see the flames from the road. we went on and my mother es korted me and we were all watching the flames. >> do you know if he's okay? >> yes, i called him. it's obviously a very unstable situation. this must be very worrisome for you and everyone in the area. >> yes, it is.
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for all of those people in the to town, you know, everybody -- i don't know if they've gotten them completely or not. >> can you see any of the properties that have been damaged by the explosion? >> yes, my house is totally destroyed. i had dogs in the house and it killed my dogs. >> your house is completely destroyed? >> yes. >> i'm so terribly sorry for you
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and your family. do you fear that many people may have been killed in this incident? >> right now, the massive explosion. >> i'm so sorry for what's happened to you. a couple of them has. it's hard to even think.
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>> where are you speaking to me from at the moment? >> i'm about two miles out of town now. >> and are many people evacuated, as far as you're aware? >> yes, yes, yes. >> there was a lot of -- there was a line of cars from every direction coming out. >> there's also concern about the ammonia nitrate that may have come as a result of the explosion. have you been warned about that? do you know how bad that can be as part of this incident? >> yes, yes.
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i guess it was just smoke and stuff, but it was getting hard to breathe anyway. >> i spoke to the mayor, he said -- >> yeah, he came across the railroad tracks right before it happened. and it knocked me down, it knocked me back. it was like the whole road just picked up. >> the force of the blast, did it knock you over, did you say? >> it was horrible. >> other people have told me it felt like a nuclear bomb had gone off, such as the ferocious power. >> yes, that's what it felt like.
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>> what is your husband's name? >> marty. >> marty. and he's currently trying to put this fire out, is he? >> yes. >> how do you feel about that? it's obviously a very dangerous situation. >> i am begging him to come home. he said he can't. >> he won't leave. i was hoping maybe he'd come home. >> is it his full-time job? >> no, he's a volunteer fireman. >> what does he do for a living? >> heating and air-conditioning.
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>> well, it's an astonishingly brave thing that he's doing tonight. i'm just so sorry to you and your family for the devastating loss of your home and your dog and for so many people. i just hope and pray that the death toll isn't as bad as people feel and the healing can start as soon as possible. >> i don't know if i'll get them all back. like i said, we're on that now. i can't think about it anymore. again, i don't know.
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every time i'm getting on the phone, it lasts a couple minutes and the phone cuts off. so i don't know if you're trying to call someone in town if it's being blocked or you just can't. >> cheryl, i'm so sorry for what's happened to you. my thoughts and prayers go with your husband who's active duty fighting this fire tonight. thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me. >> thank you. thank you. >> i want to bring you up to speed on tonight's breaking news in texas. some 10-15 buildings have been totally demolished. possibly 50 homes in west texas about 20 miles from waco. this is the stunning video from kwkt, the exact moment that the explosion happened.
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>> absolutely extraordinary power described by some witnesses of the blast as a nuclear bomb going off. it's injured at least a hundred people, at least two people are dead, though that number is feared to rise. and there is a no-fly-zone now 300 feet above the area. bill florez represents the city of west and joins me on the phone. congressman, a devastating situation that's hit west tonight. >> yes, piers, it is. and west is a wonderful little community. our hearts and prayers go out to all of those that are affected in this community.
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>> we understand that the on going situation is that they're battling to put this fire out. their genuine fears is that a second tank may explode, as well s. that your understanding? >>. >> i don't have a lot to add to the folks who have called in today to visit with you except to say this. and that is that i have reached out to the leader think in the county, both the leadership and the county judge. we've also reached up to the governor's office and have helped to coordinate with fema to the extent that our help is needed. also, center cruise and center coordinates office is working with us. these requests typically come through the governor's office. so we've got everybody ready at the federal level to receive
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those requests. >> congress, do we know the circumstances in which the original fire start snd was it an accident? could it have been sabotage? or something more sin instruct her? >> i would not expect sabotage by any stretch of the imagination. that said, i think it's too early to know. there's been a lot of speculation with respect to casualties and cause. i don't want to add any fuel to the fire at this point. i think we need to wait and seep what the facts on the ground show after we have a chance to fuse all of the information together of what happened. >> we understand that there have been maybe a hundred people taken to local hospitals as far as waco 20 miles away with injuries.
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do you have any up-to-date figures for the number of casualties here? >> no, sir, i don't. my team will be working through the night and we'll be working with a number of people to keep a compilation of casualties and injuries. at this point, we're aware of 70 that have gone to hillcrest hospital. but we don't have the numbers beyond the hillcrest family. >> i had an extremely moving interview with a woman who he has house was blown away. her husband was a part-time firefighter. it's an extremely dramatic situation for the people in this small town of no more than 2500 people. >> that's just the way that we texans are wired. even though we face our own personal tragedies from time to time, we still know that we have to go help others. and then we assess our own
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tragedies later on. a lot of small towns in texas have only volunteer fire departments. even though they're called volunteer fire departments, they are usually very professional and great training and usually have good equipment. and so this gentleman's actions reflect the spirit of texas. >> quite amazing amount of courage. you have part time firearm who have gone back in and try to deal with this. it really is extraordinary. >> yes, sir, but they've got a community that they're trying to save. they're trying to save their own community. now, they do have help from the fire departments from the surrounding communities, as well. but, again, i think it helps serve the greater cause. >> i'm just going to repeat the
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emergency number if they want to call in. it's 254-202-1100. congressman, thank you very much for joining me. >> it was good talking to you, piers. i would want to point out a couple of other things. there are blood drives that are going to be going on throughout the state of texas. they can look on my facebook or twitter account to see where they can go to volunteer to help. so follow the social media. there will be some good opportunities there. i would ask all americans to pray for the community of west and those affected by this tragedy. >> absolutely. thank you again for joining me. >> thank you, piers, talk to you soon. >> joined by cnn medical correspondent sanjay gupta.
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i'm here with sanjay gupta. this is develop, we don't know how severe these injuries are. we don't know if people are dead. but you do know about these kinds of injuries. >> and we hear about fertilizer plants in particular, being a concern. some of the concerns are the same concerns you would see in any particular explosion. the sorts of blast injuries we've been talking about here in boston. >> as you know from the explosions here in boston, went to 9 different hospitals. that number is going to end up going to a small hospital in west, about 200, 230 bed hospitals. much different sitwax in terms of resources. certainly the explosion itself, the blast that can be felt significantly, several blocks away. the fire itself. but, also, the fertilizer. some of these compounds by themselves don't pose much of a risk.
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but when you mix them with fuel, in this case a fire, they can become quite explosive. bud, also, piers, you know, these first responders that you've been talking to, the woman's husband that you've been talking to, they're at increased risk, as well. my guess is wearing respirators and some sort of protection because of the various chemicals including something known as an hydrous ammonia. you should know that this can create a fog-like atmosphere in that area. it can be quite pungent ander tating to the upper airway and to the lungs. it may not have a long-term impact, but it can make some of the rescue efforts much more difficult not only at the plant, but the surrounding buildings. >> absolutely, sandy, stay with me. let's take a short break and i'll come back in more detail with you. we went out and asked people a simple question:
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the name's bear, fancy bear. score planner is free to everyone. free score applies with enrollment in fancy bear slider still in beta. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills. ♪ yup. another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet?
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♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap. with pantene's new overnight miracle repair serum. 8 hours of repair while you sleep. with no residue on the pillow. dare to sleep on it. new overnight miracle from pantene. >> more of our dramatic breaking news tonight. a massive explosion that ripped through a fertilizer plant in a town in western texas sending scores of injuries to area hospitals. joining me on the phone is crystal anthony. she was knocked over by the blast.
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>> can you describe to me the situation? we've had people describe it as a nuclear bomb go off. >> all i know is when it exploded, we all just hit the ground. it was a lot of debris flying and after that, it was just basically search and rescue. >> and what has happened to your house? >> i'm not sure of my house. i was unable to get to my house. i was actually closer to the scene. as far as my house, i won't know until tomorrow.
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>> were you hurt at all? >> no, sir, just a couple of little scratches. the lord had to be on my side. i had some angels. that's how close i was. >> do you feel lucky to be alive? >> i feel blessed to be alive. >> it's an appalling on going tragedy. the firefighters -- somebody just tweeted me to point out there's no such thing as a part time firefighter. you're a firefighter even if it's just one of the jobs -- >> no, i'm not a firefighter. >> no, the point i was making is that a lot of the firefighters fighting the blaze at the moment are part time, although people have said to me tonight, no firefighter is ever part time because when a fire happens, as these men are doing tonight, they have to go.
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>> we have a volunteer fire department. emp in our department is volunteers. >> what do you feel about the men and maybe women, i don't know, who's gone down there. they're there risking their lives with a fear of another possible fertilizer tank that may go up at any time. >> we're a very close knit community. that's why we all pull together. we thank everybody. the outpouring of the state and the surrounding communities and school districts have really just stepped up and assisted us. >> have you detected anything in the air that warned about this ammonia that may have been filled the air around the plant? have you sensed that at all? >> we are now on the other side of town. they had evacuated the town. so where we are, everything
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seems okay. i'm not smelling anything. >> as you lecft, were you able the see other properties that had been damaged? >> yes, it's devastating. it's bad. i just can't put it into words. i 'never seen anything like that before. >> have you any idea how many homes might have been totalled or damaged b ed badly? >> no, sir. it's a residential area, the nursing home, our schools, intermediate was right there, the high school and the middle school off suffer damages. >> and i presume being such a small town, everyone basically knows each other, right? >> yes, sir.
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>> this is a really huge challenge to your community. >> yes, very devastating. bup we are pulling together and doing the best we can and we'll go forward from there. all i can say is we're asking for prayers and blood donations because there was a lot of people injured. >> crystal anthony, i really appreciate you joining me. our hearts and our thoughts and our prayers go to you and everybody in west tonight. it's an awful, all thing that's happened to your town. we can only hope it doesn't get any worse. >> yes, sir, we appreciate it. thank you so much. >> thank you for joining me. joining me now on the phone is chris sedechi who is a reporter for kxan. can you hear me? >> yes, i can. >> what can you tell us about the latest situation? there is an on going huge fire and a potential second explosion of another fertilizer tank.
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>> yes, we're actually on our way to the scene right now. we're driving up from aus tennessee. austin. west texas sits just about half way between austin and waco. we're hearing that they're wanting to move people out of that area and evacuate i think a five-mile-radius around where the explosion happened. they are worried about the secondary explosion and what you were talk about earlier, potential toxic fumes that could do some more damage. >> as sanjay gupta was saying earlier, it is a multi-problem fire. you have the rescue situation where you have all of these homes that have been flattened, and many of the rescue services can't get to the people inside them. >> yeah.
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it's one of those things where now that the sun has gone down, we may not know the fullest exat the present time until the sun comes up in the morning. there's one estimate between 70 and 100. of course, all the numbers right now, i wouldn't say they're very concrete. that's something we'll have to wait on. the estimates have been kind of ranging. but definitely a large amount of damage to a small town where you were talking to the woman earlier, everybody knows everybody. it certainly sounds like everybody in town felt the explosion. they were taublging about it like an earthquake and just how loud and powerful it was. >> yeah, we replayed a video taken by one of the residents. absolutely devastating.
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enormous power. huge ball of fire. this tremendous noise. we were just playing it again there. you can only imagine if you were a resident near that. you've heard people as much as 40 miles away felt some kind of aftershock. the latest pitches that we've been seeing, as well as the area, it looks like a huge bomb site. really devastating. >> yeah, it really is. and one of the e-mails that we received was talking about the several pronged challenge. the initial treage center was there and we heard they were moving the triage because of the potential for toxic fumes or a second explosion.
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so a lot of work to be done here tonight. >> i really appreciate you jiening me, thank you for taking the time. >> i'm joined now by marti marti mckalups. this is a pretty devastating incident. how much is the red cross ininvolved? >> we're all closely ininvolved with this. we come in and make sure we take care of the physical needs of the people who have been displaced and provide comfort and hope over their recovery. and in terms of what you're hearing on the ground, are we right in hearing that there are various issues here? one is these properties that were just flat lined by the explosion. and then there's the threat of ammonia in these gaseous clouds that have come as a result of the explosion.
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and, of course, the on going fire and po ten shl for more explosions. >> it's all very true. our authorities know how to remain safe and maintain that the local residents are safe again. >> nobody can get within three miles now, physically; is that correct? >> we really want to encourage everyone to do exactly what the authorities are saying and not make the situation any worse by trying to get in there. i know sometimes that's hard to do, but right now, we need to let these people that are trained to fight these fires to do their job. >> the information for those tuning in is 254-202-1100. >> okay, thank you. >> back now to krerks nn's chief
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medical correspondent, dr. sanjay gupta. sanjay, what you were saying there, this is a multi-faceted issue that they're dealing with from the clouds to the fire to the aftereffects of the first explosion and, indeed, the threat of more. >> no question. and the physical concerns, obviously, piers. but also the psychological ones. i was talking to one of the directors of the hospital there, hillcrest hospital earlier, he said look, we have to specific plan to deal with this. the problem, pierce, is this is different than other trama situations. you have the fuel for that primary explosion and also the secondary blast, piers, which is something we were talking about in boston. i didn't expect to be talking about it again in the context of something so soon. but that secondary blast where
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shrapnel and other debris are blown quite a distance as well, compounded by the fact that these chemicals, just about any chemical you can name, piers, is probably located in a fertilizer plant like this. one of the ones we're hearing a lot about is something called an hydrous ammonia. when there's fuel around, it can be quite father and motherble. but when it's mixed with the humidity in the surrounding area, suddenly, it causes this fox. so just consider all of that, piers. the fire, the explosions, the people being evacuated, people who are the first responders, they, themselves, now at risk as a result of all of that. it's up for considerable concern. my guest is i guess you've been intimating that we have about 70 or so patients that have gone to the hospital. the numbers are likely to go up.
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>> i'm hearing various reports saying perhaps as many as 40 critically. also, the west mayor believes that six or seven fire fighters were in the plant and remain unaccounted for. it makes the bravery going back in knowing that really quite extraordinary. >> so i just cannot imagine physically and psychologically what they are going through right now. you see the images of that fire continuing to burn: it's been burning for some time. and they have that risk tonight as you know, pierce. >> sanjay, let's take another break and we'll come back with more of this breaking news of this devastating fire and explosion and a fertilizer plant in texas.
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