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tv   FOX and Friends  FOX News  April 18, 2013 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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friends" large, it spread like an earthquake. it's being called complete devastation. hundreds are injured and the death toll right now is unknown. >>steve: fox news has confirmed f.b.i. has clear photographs of two suspects in the boston marathon bombing. we're going to tell you what we know this morning. >>brian: we have a picture. and a mississippi man arrested for sending poison-laced letters to the president of the united states and other lawmakers on capitol hill. all of these stories right now. >>gretchen: first that fox news alert from texas. terror as a massive blast rips through a fertilizer plant near waco, texas. the horrifying moment caught on cell phone video. >> are you okay? >> i can't hear. get out of here. please get out of here.
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>> oh my god! >>gretchen: the fire explosion leveling dozens of homes and businesses within an eight to ten-block radius. here's what we know so far this morning. police believe 5 to 15 people may be dead. three to five volunteer fire fighters are missing. more than 160 others have been hurt. >>brian: after the fire comes an explosion. almost within two hours of the fire. and people instinctively go there. it's a small town. many people doing dual duty as volunteer fire fighters and residents or whatever their occupation is. the town is just 2,600 people, but the risk of going into a fire at a fertilizer plant is by definition dangerous. >>gretchen: you have to wonder how many people evacuated when initially the start of the fire. there was a 30 minute time span between when the fire started at 7:23 central time in texas and the explosion happened about 7:50 central time. fire fighters now accounted
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for in the thick of it when this building completely blew. you have to wonder how many other people that were working at that time were able to get out. it does not even matter because 50 to 75 homes in the vicinity are flattened right now. where are those people at this moment in time? >>steve: just to make sure you understand what we are talking about, when we talk about west texas, we're not talking about the region. we're talking about a town called west texas. it is in particular the west fertilizer plant, as you saw right there, that just exploded. we are awaiting a press conference. now let's go to west texas and a fox news reporter there has been up all night. he joins us live. we understand we just heard from the sergeant from waco that they're considering it a crime scene. >> yeah. they pointed out that is basically standard operating procedure because they, frankly, haven't had a chance to get in there and look around, but officials with the a.t.f.
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are going to be conducting the investigation. they did say that although it's being deemed a crime scene at this hour, they are quick to point out that they believe at this point that this was an accident. obviously this is a time in america when a lot of people are on heightened alert. everyone is doing due diligence based off of the news that we've been dealing with coming out of boston this week. but the mayor of this little community told us right from the get go that it looks as if this was a very unfortunate accident and they did not suspect any kind of foul play or anything of that nature. one important issue to point out, guys, and it's something they said at that press conference that was happening just moments ago, they're still classifying this very much so as a search-and-rescue operation. they say at this hour, as we speak they are going door to door to door to all of those homes that are in that vicinity, and they're checking those residences for people that could be trapped in there, people
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that are injured and need immediate medical attention. that is something that they are looking at. and then, of course the real story will begin to unfold in just a few hours from now when the sun begins to rise. and only then will we start seeing the real devastation firsthand of what this explosion did, because as we know, it happened as the sun was going down. and by the time the news helicopters were in the sky, you've seen from all the aerial pictures we're showing, it was in the cover of dark. so it was difficult to really get a sense for what that explosion did. but all accounts from the first responders on the scene is that blocks and blocks and blocks of this tiny community were leveled. people describing it as looking like a war zone. i know we've shown this video a lot. i've seen it a dozen times, but it still gives me chills. the youtube video of a man who had pulled off to the side of the road with a
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small child in his truck, and he was videotaping the fire burning in the distance with his iphone, his smart phone. and little did he know what he was about to capture next. let's show you. >> get out of here! please get out of here! >> oh my god! >> the explosion literally rocking him. and you can haert frantic little child there in the background saying let's get out of here. earlier he was saying that he couldn't hear from the concussion. a concussion, by the way, that was felt by people living in the south part of dallas, about 80 miles north of here. a concussion so large that the nearest seismic graph was about 23 miles from here and it registered 2.1 on the richter scale according to the u.s. geological survey.
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a a lot of people initially thought it was an earthquake they had on their hands. then reports started trickling in of this explosion. just to remember, a search-and-rescue mission underway at this hour. more than 160 people have already been treated for injuries ranging from broken bones to inhalation injuries at area hospitals from breathing in the toxic fumes that this was giving off. again, it is still a situation where we have a handful of fire fighters that are still unaccounted for. a devastating catastrophe they're dealing with here in west texas. >>gretchen: casey, let me ask you this with regard to people and victims at this point. is there any way to account for how many people who were actually working in the plant at that time compared to the 160 who have been injured? has the company been able to say we suspect that there were still 100 people inside at the time? and what about the people in those homes that were
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flattened? >> frankly, we don't know that. was this a 24-hour operation? was this fertilizer plant staffed around the clock or had it already closed up shop for the day? that remains to be seen. what's really troubling is that that initial fire that the fire fighters responded to was burning either near or even perhaps under these tanks that were holding anhydrous ammonia, a very dangerous chemical. again, there was initial concern from those fire fighters that, hey, this is burning really closely to these tanks. this is dangerous. these things could blow. that is when they started to begin the evacuation process. but we don't know how many folks were actually pulled out of the vicinity ahead of blast. really a whole lot of unanswered questions at this point. we have been getting updates from the officials here. but i got to say a lot of them are so busy right now still dealing with the
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first aid and dealing with that search-and-rescue mission that they haven't had a whole lot of time to gather a ton of facts to come out here and give the press that is waiting here, press from all over the country, all over the state of texas have converged on this spot in the overnight hours. just incredible. >>brian: casey, stay right there. when the sun comes up, i think we'll find out more. the explosion packing extremely powerful force. people as far as three miles away reportedly felt and heard the blast. >>steve: here's a look at west, texas, in relation to dallas, austin and also waco. people reportedly thought the explosion was a earthquake. it measured 2 #.5 on the seismic richter scale in amarillo. one guy was in the next town over at the time. here he is describing the moment it blew up.
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>> the blast missed my cousin's house, the house on the corner there. two windows were knocked out, a door. >>gretchen: the fertilizer plant is located near homes, apartments, businesses, a school and even a nursing home. the blast leveled a four-block radius. its force blew out windows and doors. an emergency responder heard it and said he immediately ran into the nursing home to start pulling those people out. >> we would go into each room. there was sheet rock on top of the patients. as quick as i could, i would get that. the halls were in devastation. lights were down. the ceilings were down. >> how many people did you pull out? >> 16 people. i carried two at one time to hurry to try to get them out. >>brian: there are more than 130 residents at the nursing home. some say exactly 133. others say one of the wings of the nursing home was
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crushed. >>steve: we don't know. there is a story out saying between 5 and 15 confirmed dead. but they fear that the death toll could go into the dozens. maria molina is tracking right now. maria, we were talking about how this registered on the earthquake scale. you've got some data about that and about the winds which are important because we are talking about a big fire. >> we're talking about a big fire. any time you have wind involved with that, that is going to hinder fire fighter efforts. we also know there is very strong storms that are dumping a lot of heavy rain in the vicinity and they are approaching the west texas city area right now. and we do also know we're expecting a shift in the wind. a shift in the wind is very significant because you're going to be talking about if there are chemicals out there they could possibly be shifted in a different direction. fire fighters will also have to move to combat the fire into another direction. and any evacuations could be issued additionally because of the shift in the
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wind. right now they're out of the south. very strong wind currently out of the south, sustained at about 24 miles per hour in the city of west texas, gusting to 32 miles per hour. those conditions are expected to continue throughout the day today. and they will remain strong even as we head into friday. that's what we're looking at in the city of west, texas. there is a cold front, once that front moves east, they'll be blowing towards the south. the winds will remain strong, gusting up to 35 miles per hour throughout the day today. the storms we're tracking have the potential to dump large hail, producing damaging wind gusts in excess of 50 miles per hour. a chance of isolated tornadoes, but that isn't a concern right now. the concern is that we're seeing them approaching the west texas area. they're just to the west. we could see them arrive in the city of west as soon as within the next hour or so. taking a look at the future
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radar, looking at the timing here, by 6 a.m. local time. right now it is about 5:11 local time. we anticipate the storms will be producing heavy rain out here. lightning is possible. we're talking about anywhere between a quarter of an inch to half an inch of rain. a very significant punch with these storms we're expecting to arrive very soon. >>steve: maria molina in the weather center, thank you very much. >>gretchen: you've got to wonder about all that stuff people are breathing in. when casey comes back, i want to ask limb about that, why he's not wearing a mask. >>steve: dr. marc siegel is going to be referring to that concern very shortly. >>gretchen: we know at least three fire fighters are missing at this point. as we wait to hear about the full extent about the devastation of texas, the mayor of west, texas, is asking for your prayers. take a listen to the desperate dispatch calls moments after the blast. >> a bomb just went off inside here. it's pretty bad.
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we've got a lot of firemen down. >> fire fighters down. again, there has been an explosion. there are fire fighters down. >> the rest home has been seriously damaged. we have many people down. police please respond. >> giving you everybody i can. up deputies, you have bellmead fire. you have e.m.s. i'm sending everybody i got. >>brian: that was the story yesterday. right now we're finding out the ramifications of the chemical explosion, the fertilizer fire happened in west, texas where we know at least 170 people are hurt. sadly we think the casualty number will grow. looking back at this plant, something cropped up in its history that is noteworthy about a problem they had with an e.p.a. investigation. >>steve: back in 2006 west fertilizer company was fined 2300 bucks. what was the failure? they didn't have a
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risk-management plan on record that met federal standard. later on, according to the dallas morning news, they reviewed the reports since this explosion, and apparently they did get some construction permits that showed they vowed to meet all the standards. what's interesting, thoerbgs is in the fine -- though, is in the fine print when asked about whether there were fire or explosive risks, the operator said no. they said the worst possible risk would be a ten-minute release of gas. >>gretchen: $2,300 of a fine doesn't seem like a lot to me for such a volatile type of business as a fertilizer plant. this is how the oklahoma city federal building blew up. tim mcveigh used fertilizer and we saw what happened at that location. keep in mind when we find
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out what daylight may bring for us. >>brian: i understand you do not put out a chemical fire with water. i don't know how they are eliminating that fire and corralling those flames when that might not help the situation. and the danger that these men and women went to when they knew there was a fire at a fertilizer chemical plant. the tanks being there and i imagine in a town this small. you know what every business does and who works there. >>steve: that's a good point. anhydrous ammonia -- growing up on a farm -- anhydrous ammonia is used routinely to spray the crops and the fields and stuff like that. and hydrous itself means without water. we are talking about a volatile situation. anhydrous ammonia itself can cause harm to people. >>brian: i know the people that went in after the explosion had masks on, the first responders. >>steve: they didn't know what it was. >>gretchen: we'll have to see as dr. segal tells us
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about concerns. in the meantime prayers are pouring in for the victims of the texas plant explosion across social media. >> good morning to everybody at home. i'm looking at twitter right now. in their top ten words or phrases that are trending now, at least three of them, involves west texas. this coming from pope francis: please join me in praying for the victims of the explosions in texas and their families. willie nelson, country music star: west has been in my backyard all my life. my heart is praying for the community we call home. this coming from a citizen journalist who told us that he was near the area at the time of the explosion. this is a tweet from andy barty. stopped in to get gas on my drive back from austin to dallas and a huge blast rocked the entire foundation of this place. a little scary.
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and we have been showing some pictures that have gone viral from him. citizen journalism very important here as it was in the twin bombings in boston. this page for you: 39,000 likes for prayers of the victims of the fertilizer plant disaster. i imagine those likes will continue to grow. when you hear about first responders being among the victims, you can really understand why even in the wee hours of the morning and overnight that social media around the world really is not just praying for west, texas, but for the united states. this has been a tough week, guys. >>brian: especially so many eyewitnesses who say this is what i'm seeing, this is what i'm doing. here's the video i'm going to share with the people. here's my reflections which i'm going to share with twitter. and then we respond. >>steve: absolutely. if you're just waking up at 6:17 eastern time, terrible
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news out of west, texas, community. about 2,600 people. a big explosion last night. it was a fertilizer plant that went up. what happened was they got a call to the plant about 7:29 local time. fire fighters responded. 24 minutes later after they had done their best to get as many people out of the area as possible, there was a massive mushroom-sized explosion. at this point we just had a press briefing from one of the sergeants from waco. he said right now they can confirm between 5 and 15 dead, although according to "the dallas morning news," they worry that number could go into the dozens. >>gretchen: joining us on the phone is the director of public relations at carter blood care in dallas. they are sending blood to the hospitals near west, texas, which i imagine, linda, would be the hospitals in waco?
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is that correct? >> yes. i want to make a point that we have a regular routine service with the hospitals in waco and many smaller hospitals in the surrounding aerowras. we are their service provider. we have wonderful medical care down there. fortunately we had a good supply on hand when things happened last night. however, we understand there will be great need for a long time to come. we sent blood last night, several hundred units of blood. we're just letting people know that obviously everyone wants to go out and give blood right away and hurt out. we will certainly need people with o-negative blood. anyone with an o-negative blood type should consider giving this week. we want people to go on our website and go to your local community blood center's website and find out where you can make an appointment to give or go to a community blood drive. we're going to need this blood come in for the next weeks so we have enough supply. we don't want it all coming in at once, but we really, really appreciate people
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understanding that this is a very important part of the first responder system. >>brian: you're the major city around there. we understand waco, texas, only has three ambulances, that the police officers were bringing victims, people wounded back and forth in their police cars. is there anything you can do as a major hospital for them? >> we're not a major hospital. we're a blood center. we provide the blood to the hospitals. but we know that there are a lot of ambulances in the area so i would assume there were ambulances coming from all other the place. we saw coverage last night, ambulances from different cities all around the area. >>steve: absolutely. they have got ambulances now, coming up on 12 hours later, from all over that region out in texas. linda, what are you hearing from the hospitals that you serve about what they're seeing? >> what i've been seeing on the news -- i have not talked with any of them. obviously they have been very, very busy, and our
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distribution service personnel have been in touch with them. it sound like it was a really huge variance from severe burns being helicoptered into dallas to the parkland hospital burn center. and it was even as small as lacerations and bruises. there will be a lot of people undergoing surgery, i'm sure. there were people undergoing lots of care overnight. i think we just don't really have a good feel for what the extent of the injuries are unless we're right on the ground inside the hospital. >>gretchen: linda, you're requesting people who are o-negative because that's the universal blood type; correct sph >> it is. i think what every community blood center would tell you across the country, we do need the blood to keep coming. in our area we serve so many hospitals -- more than 200 -- so we need to see about 1,100 donors every day. and that is on a day without this kind of tragedy going on. as you can imagine, we need that blood to keep coming
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in. >>steve: out of curiosity, i know the boston marathon bombing was a couple of days ago, and people immediately not only crossing the finish line, went to mass general to donate blood. but when there are big catastrophes such as the one you guys are experiencing in texas, do you see a blood donation even in texas, over 1,000 miles away from the site? >> absolutely. we have a wonderful blood drive going on at one of our hospitals in dallas this morning that was put together as a response by one of the running stores is working on it, giving out coupons along with house of pancakes doing breakfast. it begins at 7 a.m. our time and will go until 1:30. that is our medical city dallas hospital here. there were lots of people reaching out saying we would just like to make a statement. and i know with this blood drive at medical city this morning, they're asking all the blood donors to write a card and a note and they're going to be sending them all to first responders, to
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patients, to everyone involved in the boston situation. it does -- the benefits go around the country. people want to help, and that's a very, very literal lifesaving way to help. >>gretchen: who would have known your region would need just as much help this morning with this devastating explosion in west, texas. we thank you for your time so early this morning. >>brian: their local football field, the mini stadium they have is a place for triage for people to go as they're found and they get immediately attended to. >>gretchen: you can see on your screen, that is the radius or the impact of the explosion and how far out it went as far as the concussion. we've heard our own reporter on the scene talking about the concussion, which means the reverberations of this type of massive explosion apparently felt as far away as dallas, which is 80 miles away from west, texas. people there thought they were experiencing some sort of earthquake, and they weren't that wrong because
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it actually was on the richter scale at just over 2. that is considered to be a small kind of an earthquake, all dependent on this one massive explosion in west, texas. >>steve: it sound like it started as a small fire there at west fertilizer in the community of west, texas, last night. and they immediately called the fire department. the fire department in that region is all volunteer. and the volunteer fire fighters responded to the call, and they realized, wait a minute, this is not good. so they started evacuating the area. within 24 minutes there was a gigantic explosion. unfortunately five to six, the estimate could be slightly higher, volume tire fire fighters were at the plant during the explosion. a number of them still unaccounted for. the fire itself was not under control until 11:00 last night. as we mentioned at the beginning of this hour of special edition of "fox &
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friends," the police out of waco are considering this a crime scene. there is, however, no suspicion that it is foul play. there's nothing to indicate to them at this point that it will be anything other than an accident at a fertilizer plant, but nonetheless they want to preserve all of the evidence just in case. >>brian: now let's update you on other developing stories i know you want to know about. fox news confirms the f.b.i. has clear photos of two persons of interest in the boston marathon bombing. both men spotted near the finish line moments before the explosions that killed three people and wounded more than 170 others. one seen wearing a backpack that matched the bag believed to have been used in the terror attack. president obama heading to boston this morning unrelated to the push to get the suspects and maybe an arrest. he'll attend a memorial service around 11 a.m. eastern. if you talk about security, it's going to be heightened. here's possibly what they're looking at.
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this is the cover of the new york post today, and here are the two men right there, one with a backpack, one without. and they're spotted also in a crowd looking away from where the runners are. i cannot open the page because we can't show pictures on the inside. >>gretchen: we want to mention we're keeping up the photos and the video, i should say, from the texas situation while we're giving you these other major breaking stories. i find it interesting that the new york post decides to print these photos of these two men, because other news outlets, including fox news as of this morning, have decided not to show their faces because, frankly, federal officials asked them not to. so it's very interesting that the newspaper -- now it will be out everywhere. it was already on the was not confirmed that these are the two faces they were looking for. again, they're not being named as suspects but people of interest. >>brian: here's my point. if that's me and i'm just carrying a backpack watching the boston marathon, i'd say excuse me, officer, you put me on the cover of "the washington post."
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i didn't do anything. >>gretchen: there is a backpack missing in the next series of photos on that particular gentleman. >>brian: they have their names but they don't have reason to arrest them. >>steve: agents from the joint terrorism task force are circulating photographs. we don't know that that's the picture they're circulating. levinthal has seen the pictures with his own eyes. at this point in the investigation you want to let the law enforcement play out such as it is. >>gretchen: especially what happened yesterday with news media scrambling with impending arrests, arrests have been made, people coming to the courthouse and none of that turned out to be true. the f.b.i. had to cancel their entire series of press conferences they were going to do yesterday because, quite frankly, it is probably interrupting the whole process in which they're trying to solve this crime. we'll continue to keep you abreast of that major
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story. at the same time we're showing you pictures of what's going on in west texas on the right side of your screen. >>brian: in fairness to how the story came down, there are sources within the investigation talking to news media. then you get two sources. when you get two or three sources telling you about to happen, you check with your editor and then you come forward, they say you shouldn't have done that. well, they should tell you that the investigation -- >>steve: you've got a whole bunch of different agencies working on this case. you've got boston police, department of homeland security, the f.b.i. >>brian: on top of the f.b.i. >>steve: you do. but you've got all these people. and the associated press started the story yesterday somebody had leaked to them, at least two sources, and that's how it all got confusing. and eventually a whole bunch of people showed up at the federal courthouse yesterday thinking, according to the associated press story, they're going to haul the people in. they never came. and there was a bomb square. >>gretchen: we have another breaking story. an arrest has been made in the poisonous letter sent
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to the president and capitol hill. authorities say a mississippi man, paul kevin curtis, mailed three letters containing ricin to president obama, republican senator roger wicker and a mississippi official. curtis was arrested at his home in mississippi. fortunately both letters sent to the president and senator wicker were intercepted before they ever reached anyone. that case, at least there's been progress made with regard to what happened there in washington. >>steve: back to our top news story on this thursday morning, and it is a fox news alert, we continue to keep a close watch on the explosion in texas. casey steagall is standing by. how many people do we know confirmed dead? how many hurt? we understand that whole region around the plant, this looks like a nuke went off. >> it looks a little bit more like a war zone. in fact, a representative with the texas department of public safety came out
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of there earlier and said it really looked like something you would see perhaps on the streets of baghdad or in kabul, afghanistan. it is difficult to get your mind around what has happened there because when the explosion happened just right before 8:00 local time last night, the sun was going down. and once the news choppers were up in the air, all of the video that we've been showing you is under the cover of dark. the only thing you can really see are multiple fires burning. at the point this exploded, ten different structures caught fire from all of the exploding and flying debris. we're talking about a nearby apartment complex that had some 50 units in it; unknown if all of the people who lived there were able to make it out alive because now it's being characterized as just a skeleton of a building. what's really troubling, a nursing home was also one of the businesses close by. more than 100 residents in
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fact called that nursing home their place to stay. initial reports that the building, the structure of that collapsed. and there were some roeufrs, searches -- recoveries, searches and rescues that had to be done there. the middle school here in west, texas, caught fire. of course school not in session at the time. but it was said to be ablaze. so you really just saw multiple fires burning all over the place. you don't really know what it looks like. as i've said, sounding a little bit like a broken record since we have essentially been on the air live since this thing happened, in our drive down prosecute dallas this morning -- down from dallas to this area, about 80 miles south of dallas -- not speaking geographically, but west is the name of this town, a community of only about 2,800, a tparpblg -- farming community, arguably a place where a lot of
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people know their neighbor, know each other by name. at this point they're faced with the dark reality that those neighbors may not have made it out alive here. as far as the exact number of fatalities, police are really steering away from that. i mean, we've heard upwards of 20 people. we've heard 5 people. it's just fluid. and the numbers are constantly changing. what we do have a little bit better of a picture of is the number of people injured. as far as the number of people that at least were transported to area hospitals, a lot of area hospitals, in fact, more than 160 patients, patients that had injuries at the emergency room from broken bones to cuts and bruises from flying glass to inhalation injuries because of this toxic gas that was given off by the fire burning and they breathe it into their lungs and it caused some respiratory issues.
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an i am impromptu press briefing is going to start. they have been pretty good telling us about these briefings that are going to begin. they say they're going to be two hours from the last time they speak, and then they'll walk out and say we're going to start one now. we're hearing over here that the mayor and a county commissioner is going to be taking the podium. it's here to my right. i'm going to keep my eye on this. obviously as soon as they take the podium we will bring this to you live. guys, just absolutely incredible. one thing we do need to point out is again although this has been billed a crime scene, that's standard in something like this. we have to drive this point home, especially now when americans are so sensitive after the news that we've been following out of boston. they do not believe -- they have no reason to believe that any kind of foul play is at work here. they believe it is just an unfortunate accident at this fertilizer plant, a
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fertilizer plant, by the way, that did have a citation from the texas commission of environmental quality back in june of 2006. >>steve: casey, i think they're ready. >> at approximately 7:30 the west fertilizer plant was on fire, fully consumed. the west fire department, volunteer fire department, responded. at approximately 7:55 the plant exploded. approximately 50 to 60 houses in a five-block area, radius were damaged, heavily damaged. west haven was in the process of being evacuated
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when the explosion occurred. the rest home, nursing home has evacuated and taken all patients out to safe locations. all residents in that area have been evacuated and are in a safe location. i do not have an exact number of casualties at this time. we took over 160 to waco hospitals, area hospitals, for treatment. search-and-rescue teams have been working through the night combing the west haven as well as the fire, the fertilizer plant and also a thorough check of the neighborhood. that is continuing as we speak. for those missing a loved one or need information we will have a line at the
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west community center after 9:00 a.m. we will have another press conference at 4:00. thank you. ask for your prayers. >> mayor, what do you say about your [inaudible] >> >>gretchen: the mayor of west texas giving an update, much of the information we've already given with regard to the number of people still missing, injured, confirmed dead, the timing of the fire that happened, about 7:23 central time yesterday and then the explosion 30 minutes later. do we still have casey stegall back? i've been wondering for the last 15 minutes since you were last on whether or not they asked you to also put on a mask when you arrived on the scene? a lot of our viewers will be concerned about the people around there like yourself not having a mask on. what have they told stphu
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stphu -- told you? >> we are far enough back that that is not required. we're several miles from where this thing happened. it can be a little frustrating because we as journalists obviously want to be right up there on the action. we're adrenaline junkies and we want to do the very best to bring our viewers the most compelling pictures and show you what's going on live. but at this point it's just simply too dangerous. that's why the media is here in this staging area. but we have seen some of the emergency workers that have been down close to this, and they have been emerging wearing respirators and wearing various masks because of the threat of the toxins and things like that that could be in the air of the one of the things that is of concern here, and i'm sure steve could probably talk about this, is the wind. there is a line of severe thunderstorms headed our way. and it is supposed to be here in just a couple of hours. we've already had wind gusts the last few hours of up to 20 miles per hour. and the wind are coming
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from the south at this point. so everyone on the northern edge of this incident are the ones, the ones downwind that have been evacuated because of the threat of the toxins and the smoke and the chemicals in the air. the concern is as this cold front continues to come through, is that the wind is going to shift directions and then it's going to come from the north, meaning the folks down south of the incident would be in danger. and then those folks would have to be watched and potentially evacuated from their homes. that is something that the incident commanders are also keeping a very close eye on. of course with the potential for severe weather and heavy rains, wind, and even hail is forecasted to hit here later today. that, of course, is of great concern because it could, of course, hamper the recovery, the search, and the rescue efforts that are underway.
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>>steve: casey, that's one of the reasons, given the winds coming, it's great that they got it under control at 11:00 last night. before you go, because we're going to talk to dr. marc siegel about the medical implications of this ammonia. what was the plant manufacturing? was it anhydrous ammonia or something else? was it ammonium nitrate, that is very volatile when combined. >> we don't know if they're manufacturing this anhydrous ammonia or if it is a chemical being used for other items they may have been making there, if that's something they add to the fertilizer. it's hard to say at this point. there isn't a whole lot of information really out there. we've been googling and trying to get information as far as what exactly happened at this plant, who they supplied, how many people worked there, as you were asking earlier. was this an
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around-the-clock operation, staffed 24 hours a day so there would have been employees working there at the time of the fire and of the explosion? there's just simply not a lot of information out there right now about this particular facility. but no doubt, when you look at the a.t.f. coming here to do some investigating and also a federal team from washington, a federal team with the chemical safety board -- i didn't even know that existed until i started seeing it making the rounds -- a federal agency, the chemical safety board and they're tasked with investigating chemical industrial accidents. and a team from d.c. has been assembled and are on their way to texas to also take a look at what went terribly wrong here. >>steve: for folks looking at the images on the screen right there, if you could put up the concentric circles that shows the tkpwao*l images,
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casey is at interstate 35, screen left and casey is by that. >>brian: 19 minutes before the top of the hour. we've got brand-new video. >>gretchen: apparently just into the news room. a triage center has been set up at a football field in west texas. patients with severe burns are being treated there. dr. marc siegel joins us with insight as to what other kinds of injuries are being dealt with at the hospital. let's start with the breathing. what kind of toxins are in the air right now? i'm assuming he's correct that he doesn't need a mask. >> we're talking about anhydrous ammonia. the key here -- and it's got hydrogen in it which is why it's so combustible and why it led to the explosion that blew out windows. the key is the smell. it's colorless but it has a pungent odor at above about 50 parts per medical.
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medical injury occurs at about 100 parts per million. if you can't smell it, it can't hurt you. it can only start to hurt you when you really smell the pungent odor. then you start to see burns, start to see damage to eyes. people can go blind from this. it gets into your lungs. it gets the mucous membranes in your lungs affeeted. it pulls out your water. that can damage your lungs. you have to be followed for about 24 hours. you've got to be given oxygen. you've got to be given air and plenty of water to flush it o.u. those are the main -- to flush it out. those are the main straoeplts. water on the skin. it's after 24 hours you haven't been affected by this, you're going to be okay. no long term risks but plenty of short term risks. >>brian: what about the seniors evacuated from that nursing home?
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what about the trauma they're going through? >> that's huge. i think that's probably primarily impact injuries. they tried to evacuate people. because the explosion blew out windows, people fell. there were fractures. when you're talking about the 160-must injuries in the hospital, most of those are probably from falls. >>brian: things blow up and things come down. shrapnel starts raining from the sky. >> there's going to be shrapnel injuries here where people end up with metal that have to be removed and fractures. people have to be stabilized. in terms of the wind blowing, i want to talk about that for a second. the wind blowing may bring it to other areas. but if the rain comes in, you'll see white powder forming because anhydrous ammonia becomes a white powder that is less toxic. people will know if that gas is in the area because they'll see that powder on
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the ground. >>gretchen: we are going to take our first break of the morning so far. we'll be right back.
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they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure or when nsaids are taken for long periods. nsaids, like celebrex, increase the chance of serious skin or allergic reactions or stomach and intestine problems, such as bleeding and ulcers, which can occur without warning and may cause death. patients also taking aspirin and the elderly are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers. don't take celebrex if you have bleeding in the stomach or intestine, or had an asthma attack, hives, other allergies to aspirin, nsaids or sulfonamides. get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor your medical history. and find an arthritis treatment for you. visit and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion. >>brian: a big explosion down in west, texas, in
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central texas. a fertilizer blew up. homes leveled around the area. joining us on the phone is a spokesperson for providence hospital in waco. good morning to you, heather. you're located a number of miles away from the blast site. what sort of injuries are you seeing? >> we're 26 miles away from the blast site and we are seeing injuries consistent with an explosion. broken bones lacerations, bruising, respiratory distress and a few head injuries and minor burns. >>gretchen: are these people who were in these homes that were leveled, are these people who were inside the plant at the time? can you -- do you know? >> i don't know specifically, but i would imagine it's a mix of both. we also have another hospital here in town that's a trauma center. that one is hillcrest baptist medical center. patients who are more severely injured would be taken there. i know memorial hospital in
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dallas received about nine burn patients. >>brian: the array of injuries that you're seeing, have they varied? >> yes, they varied from minor to moderate. we had one patient in critical condition. but thankfully they have been upgraded to stable condition. that's wonderful news. we only had one critical patient. >>brian: have you been able to ask them where they were during the explosion? i'm wondering if it would be possible to survive if you were anywhere close. >> that is a great question. i know some people were close. we are focusing more on the patients' care right now. many of them are in shock and are sharing their stories with their caregivers, but i don't have their direct stories at this time. >>gretchen: we would assume all the people at your hospital will survive if they are not the most critically injured? >> exactly. we have seen no fatalities. the most recent report i heard from hillcrest, they have seen no fatalities either. we've only had 12 patients
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admitted out of the 65 we've treated. >>steve: what about the last night, the time of the explosion? apparently they heard it as far away as 45 miles away to the north in waxahachie. did you hear it? >> i personal did i did not. there were people close to me that did hear it. >>steve: you didn't feel the earth move either because it did measure on the richter scale? >> no. >>gretchen: thank you so much for bringing us up to speed with the people at your facility, heather. >>brian: there is someone tweeting in the area saying cold front hitting the town. big temperature change. we're waiting for rain and a wind shift. >>steve: good thing they got the fire under control. when you've got run-away winds to that, it could have been a lot worse but they got it under control at 11:00.
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>>gretchen: covering breaking news coming out of west, texas, a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant there at about 8:00 central time. what about the wind and regard to what people are breathing. let's go to maria molina. the repercussions of the concussion but also the wind shifts we're about to experience. bring us up to speed. >> those two things and also the fact that we're seeing strong storms approaching the west, texas, area. so we're going to be tracking these developments. i want to talk about the earthquake that it actually
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did trigger. it was measured as a 2.5 earthquake on the richter scale. it actually is a minor earthquake. that's what it's classified at. it was detected in amarillo, texas, more than 400 miles away from the city of west in texas. just incredible how far away this traveled. there are reports this earthquake or the shake in the ground was felt as far away as waco, texas, which is about 20 miles away from west. some people, i think i heard even in dallas, texas, which is about 80 miles away from the city of west, texas. as far as the wind -- incredible it triggered a shake and people could feel it. this is an explosion that happened at a plant. we have an approaching cold front heading eastbound. we see winds out of the south blowing towards the north. right now they are blowing strongly. we're seeing gusts of over 30 miles per hour being recorded in the city of west. this front is headed eastbound. behind the front we will see a shift in the wind direction. they will be blowing from
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the northwest towards the southeast. still very strongly and that is going to continue throughout the day today and into friday. we're expecting sustained wind of 20 to 25 miles per hour. gusts as high as 35 miles per hour. that's been happen and will continue to happen. we're expecting strong winds even as we head into tomorrow. there are some very strong storms that we have been tracking across this area. you can see them already roll through the city of dallas inching towards the city of west. we are expecting them to reach that area by 6:30 a.m. local time. that should be about 7:30 a.m. eastern time, so within the next several minutes we should see the line of storms impacting the city of west. large hail not so much a concern anymore out here. that is a little bit of good news but we're still talking about wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour with some of these storms. we're expecting very heavy rain of over a quarter of an inch possible and also some very dangerous lightning from some of these thunderstorms. a lot of stuff going on here. we're expecting heavy rain.
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that is not going to help out anyone trying to do cleanup efforts in this region. behind this initial line of storms, expecting the rain to linger for several hours out here in the city of west. >>steve: thank you very much. you just heard from dr. marc siegel because the ammonia is already in the air, if you can't smell it, it's not going to be a problem to you. but now it looks as if the major problem caused by this big line of storms is it's going to delay the house-to-house search. >>brian: thoughts go out to the unit of volunteer fire fighters still missing at this hour, who saw the fire. they quickly got in their cars, got in the truck and went in there. they are missing. at least one law enforcement officer who responded to the call, when it was a fire before it became an explosion, he is also missing. we know the 50 to 75 houses have been flattened. we know a wing of the nursing home has been
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leveled. 50 to 75 -- 50 units of the -- i should say 50 units of an apartment complex are destroyed and 50 to 75 separate houses have been ruined. >>gretchen: can we have the youtube video of the gentleman with his daughter. if you're just waking up, amazing video capturing the exact time the explosion happened. listen to this. >> are you okay? >> i can't hear. >> cover your ears. >> get out of here. please get out of here. >>brian: first words were i can't hear. >>gretchen: can you imagine going through an explosion like that. the dispatch, the initial calls, i believe it was the mayor on the dispatch calling it a bombing that had happened. they are looking at this as a crime but they say that is standard operating procedure, that they don't expect foul play but that's the way they're initially going to be looking at the evidence. we'll continue to follow this for you throughout the morning. we're going to take a quick break here. when we come back, we will
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recap all of the major stories. we're going to recap without taking a break. >>brian: also the latest on the boston bombing. as we try to find out what's happening with waco, when the sun comes up, we should learn more and more. : >>steve: fox news is confirminged f.b.i. has two suspects, people of interest in the boston marathon bombing. we'll tell you what we know. >>brian: a mississippi man arrested for sending
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poison laced letters to the nd o lmakersheni on capitol hill. we have all these stories and more right now. first we are coming to you from texas because there has been a massive blast after a fire 24 minutes later this fertilizer plant blew up near waco. the horrifying moment caught on cell phone video. >> get out of here. >>brian: the fire happened at 6:00 local time. the explosion a short time later. he thought he was taking video of a fire. it ended up being an explosion. leveled dozens of homes and businesses. here's what we know so far. police believe 5 to 15 people may be dead, three to five volunteer fire fighters missing and more
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than 160 others hurt, some being treated in a triage center in a football field a short while away. >>steve: the dallas morning news at this point is kweurpblg that at least two -- is confirming at least two emergency personnel were killed in west, texas. the fire department there is all volunteer. when the word came out last night there is a fire at the fertilizer plant, a bunch of volunteers drove over. they realized this is bigger than we thought. this could be perilous. the first thing they did was in addition to trying to put out the fire which was growing, they started to evacuate people. currently -- and this is important -- it is being referred to as a crime scene, but they don't suspect any foul play. we heard earlier from a sergeant in the waco police department, he said he expects it simply to be an accident at a fertilizer plant, but at this point the idea is to preserve all the evidence so they can
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figure out what went wrong last night in west, texas. >>gretchen: let's look at the map because this shows you the reverberation as they -- maybe we don't have it. there it is. we have the plant in the center and 500 feet out. you can see that nursing home brian was referring to where an entire wing apparently flattened. a middle school, luckily nobody probably at the school during this time. a high school nearby. 2,500 feet away from the plant is where i-35 is, which is a major thoroughfare that goes north-south from dallas into austin, texas. that's where our own casey stegall has been reporting from through much of the night. he's with us again doing a fantastic job bringing us up to speed on what exactly has happened there. good morning again, casey. >> good morning to you guys. thanks for that. there's been one chaotic night. you can imagine. officials here are still at this hour, many hours later after this all happened, dealing with what they are characterizing as a
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search-and-rescue mission as we speak. they are going door to door to all of the houses that are close to that fertilizer plant and they are searching those re no one is trapped inside. and if there is people inside, they have to get medical attention. when the first calls of this came in, there were so many people that had to be transported to the hospital, we had reports that there were not enough ambulances. you had police officers and troopers with the texas department of public safety that were literally loading people up in their squad cars and driving them to area hospitals because the system was so incredibly inundated. i want to bring in sergeant swanson with the waco police department who has been briefing us and giving us all the great information that's been coming out. thank you for being with us, sir. sergeant, tell us a little bit as you were sort of characterizing earlier, it is classified a crime scene
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but that is sort of standard. it doesn't mean that a crime is suspected here? >> correct. we're going to start off in that mode. hopefully we will find that there is not any criminal activity and we'll be able to move into an industrial accident type investigation. obviously the first part of it is going to be conducted with a.t.f., our state fire marshals. they are here on the scene and they're going to conduct a possible criminal investigation if in fact that proves to be the case. our county sherrifs department is here. they're going to work the deaths that have come from the explosion and fire. we'll move forward on it and see where it leads. >> this is tricky because obviously you're working in the dark of night and we've been talking about that a lot. once the sun starts to come up we're going to get a better picture for what exactly happened and how widespread the daniel is and what that blast did. that's got to be challenging for all the people on the ground trying
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to find people that need rescuing and things like that? >> obviously our first concern and priority is life, to make sure we can get to those who need help and that we can help. we'll worry about the investigation once we get the area secured and we get as many people out as we can. we're not sure what we're going to find. we know we've been going door to door. they have been going house to house, business to business trying to find survivors or people that may be trapped in rubble. we'll continue that until we feel like we've reached the point where we're beyond a search and rescue and at some point it will go into recovery mode. >> tell me what we know about this particular fertilizer plant. we're on with "fox & friends" on fox news national and the anchors in new york have been asking us and we've been wondering the same thing, was this an around-the-clock operation? were there people working there at the time? or were they evacuated based on the initial fire? what do we know about the plant itself? >> we know roughly 7:00,
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7:30 we received a call of a fire call. tpraoeurdz responded -- fire fighters responded. 15, 20 minutes later was the call of the explosion. it is a chemical fertilizer plant. they produce anhydrous ammonia. >> they produce the anhydrous ammonia there? >> this is a tparpblg -- farming community. it is a big fertilizer plant. there is a railroad facility, railroad cars that bring tanks of anhydrous ammonia in. it's that kind of plant. they produce here shifts to local farmers, hence the reason we have such a large explosion because of the chemicals that were there. >> we don't know if it's staffed 24 hours a day, if there were people on site working? >> i do not. >> obviously a major employer, i would imagine with it being that large, you describing the rail system infrastructure that's in place.
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it's probably pretty big. i would imagine it employs a number of people. we're talking about a kphraoupbt that is 2,800 people total. >> it's a staple of this community. >> let's talk, if we can, about the chemical threat. i heard you say that as the winds continue to pick up and what not, that that threats is sort of diminishing. >> the last i've heard from our environmental people here, our emergency response folks have said that the fire is still burning inside the chemical plant. it is somewhat under control. the environment is okay. at this point we're not seeing any chemicals released into the air and they don't believe that's going to occur. >> sergeant swanton, we appreciate your time. :
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>> good morning again. >> good morning again. good to see you. yes, unfortunately, we do have some very strong storms that are starting to impact the city of west and there was a special weather statement issued by the national weather service. basically this is a special statement describing the conditions that are expected with this line of storms that are impacting this region and basically they're staying that wind shift should be occurring now. so we've been talk being the wind being out of the south and eventually shifting from the northwest that. is expected to be occurring now as a line of storms is headed east. this is all associated with a strong cold front. behind it, we should also see a temperature drop. otherwise they're expecting gusts of up to 45 miles per hour with these storms. there is a chance that we could
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see some pea size hail, frequent cloud to ground lightning and heavy rainfall. forecast is for more than a quarter inch of rain. less than a half inch of rain, but behind it, you can see it here, there is some areas of rain behind it. so while to the -- well to the west of the line of storms. we could be dealing with several hours of rain. that will complicate things as far as clean-up efforts go for the city of west and for any fire fighting efforts that we're doing across that area. the forecast radar here is basically again for several hours of rain and again, expecting a wind shift to occur now. >> steve: talk a little bit about how there was such a jolt from this explosion, it felt, according to the u.s. geological survey, like an earthquake. >> it reject sistered as a 2.5
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magnitude. what happened is it was so powerful that it actually shook the ground and produced some waves that were felt in the city where it was recorded in amarillo in texas. that's more than 400 miles away from the city of west. these waves traveled a far distance to be recorded in the city of amarillo, which is actually in the panhandle of texas. incredible stuff. people in the city of waco were reported to have felt shaking of the ground. they felt some of the shaking in dallas. incredible stuff. those are reports from people in those areas, just -- i can believe that, an explosion shook the ground and produced these waves that were felt in amarillo. that's incredible. >> steve: it just goes to show you how big a boom it was. all right. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> gretchen: we know at least three firefighters are missing at this time. they were volunteers. as we wait to hear about the full extent of the devastation in texas, the mayor of the town of west is asking for your prayers this morning. take a listen to the desperate
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dispatch calls moments after the blast. >> we need every ambulance we can get this way. a bomb has went off inside here. it's pretty bad. we've got a lot of firemen down. >> firefighters down. again, there is an explosion, there are firefighters down. >> rest home has been seriously damaged. we have many people down. please respond. >> we're getting you everybody i can. you have deputyies. you have fire and ems. i'm sending everybody i got. >> brian: firefighters that are down, we still are not accounted for. the sun will come up when the fire dissipates, they can get a little closer and find out their fate. but they went right in when the fire happened and then the explosion can't be totally unexpected. but the goal was to stop the fire before the explosion and that didn't happen. we're joined on the phone by crystal anthony who lives in west, texas who witnessed and i imagine heard it. where were you when it happened? >> i was across the street by the nursing home.
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>> brian: were you helping evacuate? >> yes. i ended up helping evacuate. i live in the 1500 block of davis. my daughter was outside playing basketball and she was telling me that there was a fire. and i looked out and it looked like it was for our school. because i'm a school official, i went to make sure the school was okay. that's why i was in the area. by the time we parked and got out, it just exploded. so we were taking cover. i was trying to cover her. after we realized we had a couple scratches, we started -- search and rescue started bringing them out of the nursing home until we could get help. we're all volunteers. the volunteer fire department, the volunteer ambulance. we were doing the best we could until we get help.
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>> steve: that's quick thinking. local volunteer firefighters were on the scene at 7:29 last night there in west, texas. 24 minutes later, the fire ball, which changed everything. in the 24 minutes before the explosion, but after they reported the scene, they were trying to get the word out, we got to evacuate people. how desperate were you to get as many people away from the fertilizer plant as possible before it could potentially blow up? >> well, that time i got there, i didn't have 20 minutes. i had been there five or ten. >> steve: oh, man. >> so everything just kind of happened while we were standing there. >> brian: when you saw the middle school, the school that you were looking at, was that the middle school that you were checking on? >> no. that's an intermediate school. >> gretchen: there is also a high school nearby, right? >> the high school is on the side of the tracks on the other
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side where the plant is located, on the other side of the tracks. but intermediate is close by the nursing home and apartment complex. >> gretchen: we're looking at a pap to show our viewers -- map to show our viewers were. did you say you are also a volunteer firefighter? >> no. i'm actually on the west side. that's why i was going to -- >> gretchen: to the school. >> yeah. >> gretchen: do you know any of these volunteer firefighters from your community who lived and now may be missing? >> we're very close knit community. our mayor is one of our volunteer firemen. so everyone has picked up and helps out. so we were just all there. i'm pretty sure i do know some of the men and women that are there. >> steve: that's terrible.
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crystal, that particular fertilizer plant, west fertilizer, been in that town for a long time. >> yes. >> steve: right there on the train tracks. and had you worried about -- i wonder if that thing could ever explode? has that been in the back of your mind? >> no, sir. it never crossed my mind. >> steve: no, absolutely not. so if you would, 'cause you were right there in the open when it did explode, what did it feel like? what did you hear? >> i'm just at a loss for words. i was looking and then all of a sudden, it just exploded and all i could do was crawl to try to cover my daughter and after -- we were okay. it was search and rescue trying to help everyone that was around and then getting the people out of the nursing home and the apartment complexes. the apartment complex residents were coming out.
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they didn't know i guess when the explosion hit, they were coming out without shoes and everything. >> brian: were any of them hurt? >> yes. several people were hurt. we started, like i said, the triage. we had a minimal with triage and then i can't think of the word. >> gretchen: she's a resident of west, texas, the install town where this devastating explosion happened. thank you so much for giving us a firsthand perspective this morning. we're going to continue to cover this throughout the morning on "fox & friends," as well as the other breaking news story, about two people of interest in a boston bombing, right after this >> you okay? >> i can't hear! gentleman hear! get out of here. [ male announcer ] we build things
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sent were intercepted at another site before they ever reached anyone. >> brian: as we've been telling you, the massive explosion left up to 15 people dead that gretchen was referring to and more than 160 people injured and more burned. heather childers is tracking where the victims are, how they're being treated and how many there actually are. heather? >> right. we're getting a closer look at some of the numbers. we know they're being treated at three hospitals in texas. primarily for burns and shrapnel wounds. at least 100 people are getting treated at hillcrest hospital and more than 60 at providence health center. both in waco. we also know some people are being treated at scott and white hospital, those are in temple, texas. there is no confirmed number of people there just yet. take a look at this brand-new video. it shows a triage center that's been set up at a football field not far from the fertilizer
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plant. at least six helicopters have been landing there to fly the injured out to those nearby hospitals that we just mentioned. others being transported by ambulance. others in personal vehicles. as you can see, many of the injured in wheelchairs. also many on stretchers. police tell us that up to 15 people, five to five 15 -- 15 killed in the blast. they expect that number to rise. we expect to bring you more as we learn more. but at least over 160 injured and being treated at this hour. >> steve: you know what? thank you very much. apparently hospitals as far away as temple, texas, we're told perhaps hundreds of people to be coming to your door. the red cross has sent teams to the area and what they're trying to do at this point, because the epicenter right there by the fertilizer plant, has decimated everything. they're trying to find shelter for the people who need houses.
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>> gretchen: it's interesting because originally during the first press conference early this morning, or one of the first ones, somewhere in the 5:00 a.m east coast hour, the sheriff in charge, i believe of waco, said they were considering this a criminal act. they say that's standard operating procedure, that they always want to look at the crime scene in case it ends up there was foul play. not that they're indicating it was. i find it interesting, i'm wondering if the chemicals being produced at this plant are highly flammable on their own and if not, could there be some other explanation as to why there was suddenly a fire at this plant after all of these years? i'm just wondering because i'm not an expert in this kind of chemical whether or not it's flammable. >> steve: having grown up on a farm, i can tell you we learned from casey stegall that it was a plant that was manufacturing anhydrous ammonia. normally, if you spill it on yourself, you can get a burn. but for the most part, it's not. >> gretchen: it's not flammable? >> steve: you know, i'm sure you can catch it on fire.
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a lot of people hear ammonia and think, isn't that what blew up the murrah building? a form of ammonia, ammonia nitrate was mixed mixed with mee and that created the problem there. and because of what happened in waco and the oklahoma city bombing, people are going, i wonder if there is a connection at this point. they are treating it as a crime scene, but as we heard from the sergeant who was running the operation from waco, he does not expect it to be anything other than an accident at a fertilizer plant. >> brian: it's a town of less than 3,000 people. it's not used to getting national attention. we've never seen an explosion like this since we've been covering this show when we talk about what happened last night and then what happened right after with this huge explosion. we're going to talk about the ramifications ramifications ramifications and go back to the scene when we come back here on "fox & friends" when it came to ur plants, we were so confused.
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>> steve: welcome back. >> brian: we got to update you on what we've been following all night, the explosion in west, texas, at a fertilizer plant. fox news reporter casey stegall, nothing legal about this, we're trying to piece all this together. casey, what has developed?
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i know we're waiting on a presser. >> yeah, we're waiting on another press conference where we expect to get some more information. not a whole lot of information frankly, has changed in the last few hours. the only real nugget of information that has come out since we last talked that was interesting to note from the mayor is that all of the residents of that nursing home, that nearby nursing home were successfully evacuated. reports that some of those folks sustained injuries to what extent it is unclear at this point. but there were initial responses that that particular nursing home structure had collapsed right after this explosion had happened. and it had caught fire as well. the good news is more than 100 people lived there and the mayor of this community has said that they were all successfully evacuated. just to give you an idea in terms of the world wide attention, this story is
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garnering -- the pope, the pope himself, pope francis sent out a message on twitter a little earlier. i believe we have the full screen of the pontiff's tweet where he said, please join me in praying for the victims of the explosion in texas and their families. it's been retweeted 6100 times, more than 2,000 people have favorited it. there are media outlets from around the world that are here covering this in addition to every possible news organization in the state of texas that have converged on this small farming community. a community probably safe to say, where neighbors know neighbors by name and the reality is, more than 170 of those neighbors have gone to area hospitals with varying injuries and although police have not said the number of people who have lost their lives yet because frankly, they're still trying to work through those numbers and they're waiting for the sunlight to come up before they can have a better idea in terms of how many people did not make it, this is a
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community that has really been rocked by this. rocked by the explosion and then rocked by the aftermath because it's small, you know. they know each other and the sad and grim reality is that people did not make it out of this alive. and there are going to be a lot of broken hearts here, no doubt about it. >> steve: let us ask you about this: we know that in anticipation there could be a big explosion because there was a fire at this plant and we just played the youtube video right there that they evacuated as many people as they could and then there was the explosion. then they within door to door to find out how many were injured. has the door to door concluded? >> no, that is still underway right now. it's a pretty big swath of area that's impacted here. we're talking about city blocks that were leveled and so it is a very arduous task going door to door.
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they're actually spray painting or marking x's on the residentses that have been swept, something reminiscent of hurricane katrina when the search and recovery and search and rescue crews went through the lower 9th ward and places like that. what the door to door search has yielded, we don't yet know. but they are still calling this a search and rescue mission. they have not turned it to a recovery mission at this point. you heard the sergeant from the waco police department telling us about 30 minutes ago when we did the live interview with him that their primary focus right now is finding life and clearly if there are injuries, getting those people out of here, transported to area hospitals. i want to tell you as well that a lot of the critical patients out here were air lifted and we saw upwards of nine medical helicopters conducting evacuations here not long after this whole explosion happened. that's pretty rare.
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we've covered a lot of tragedies, a lot of mass casualty incidents before and i've never really remember an incident where nine different helicopters landed to air lift critical people out of here. some went as far away as hospitals in dallas, about 80 miles from here to parkland hospital in particular because that's major level one trauma center and we understand that the majority of victims that went to that location sustained bad burns. so really, the injuries running the gamut from broken bones to burns, to smoke inhalation and minor cuts and bruises from all of the glass that went flying when this thing happened. i know we've said this before. we have new viewers joining us all the time. we've seen that youtube video you referenced. the fire ball went 90, 100 feet into the sky. just stop and think about that. how terribly frightening that
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would be and the concussion felt and heard for miles and miles away, just absolutely incredible, a true catastrophe unfolding here. >> gretchen: casey stegall in west, texas. we'll touch base with you very soon. thanks so much. >> steve: meanwhile, casey just alluded to that home video we started to show you. a father capturing this incredible explosion packing an extremely powerful punch. people as far as 30 miles away reportly felt it and heard the blast. >> brian: we want to show you this powerful explosion. you can see it where the town is over in west, texas. this is relation to dallas, how it relates to dallas, austin, as well as waco. here you can see how far out it was felt. people reportedly thought it was an earthquake, running out to see what was going on. it measured 2.5 on the richter scale. in amarillo, one man who lives in west was at his cousin's house in the next town at the time. he describes the moment of
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impact. >> like a shot, the blast just missed my cousin's house on the corner there, the windows were knocked out, door. >> brian: the fertilizer plant is located near homes, apartments, businesses and a school and a nursing home. the blast leveled a four-block radius, -- its force blew out windows and crumbled ceilings. a man heard it and ran in to pull people out. >> we were going to each room, there was sheetrock on each of the patients. as quick as i could, i would get them. all the lights were down, all the ceilings were down. >> how many people did you pull out? >> i pulled out 16 people out of there. >> you were carrying two? >> i carried two at one time to hurry to try to get them out. >> brian: wow, more than 130 residents of the nursing home were evacuated. >> gretchen: texas officials have said it's a crime scene, but no evidence yet of a crime. however, we want to know how a blast like this can happen. we're joined on the phone by a
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retired member of the new york police department bomb squad. michael white. he's the director of explosives training at msa security. good to have you, mike. >> good morning. >> gretchen: so help us understand this and for the rest of our viewers. we understand that anhydrous ammonia was on site here. is it correct to say that that in and of itself is not flammable? >> well, of course you would have to look in the haz-mat books to see its flamability. but at a fertilizer place, there is numerous chemicals that would be volatile and flammable. the main problem is it has been mentioned in the past as a precursor for one of the methamphetamine recipes and there has been theft from storage tanks problems, not that that's what occurred here. but there has been added security for that chemical compound based by its misuse in illicit drug manufacturing. >> steve: looking on the internet and on twitter, there are a number of people who are
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wondering whether or not that volunteer fire department might have actually made it worse because they put water on a chemical fire. what do you think about that? >> the bottom line is, the firefighters are always more advanced in terms of their training. i don't think that you can actually place blame, but sometimes what they expect and what they get is not, and the first responders rescue actions are well intended and in hindsight, everybody can come back with wait a minute, maybe we could have done this differently. they're going to do the best they can and not purposely try to make it worse. >> brian: if i told that you there is a fire in a fertilizer plant and you know what's in this fertilizer plant, would you recommend we go in there? >> again, in terms of explosive fires, what we know as bomb technicians is you don't fight explosive fires, you let them burn out. that's fine if you can get a dance evacuated enough so there
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is no risk to human life. but if there is risk to human life, you're going to go in there anyway. >> gretchen: a lot of people are writing in this morning with this particular question, which is if this fertilizer plant has been there for significant amount of time, why were there schools and nursing homes and other facilities so close to it, or is it the case that this is just a safe facility and you would build a school next to it? >> i'm not certain which one was there first, unfortunately. no one really anticipates this, which is the worst case scenario. thplant has operated for years and years and assuming. so unfortunately, with anything mechanical, stuff breaks down and in this case, there was a resulting fire and the fire ended up in that horrific explosion that is going to be making everybody review where the facility is located and why do we really have nursing homes and schools in the close proximity. >> brian: if you can't stop this fire at a plant with water, what do you use?
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>> most of the places will have other chemicals. there are dry chemicals and just look at most people might be familiar with their typical kitchen grease fire. you have different fire fighting capabilities and i am not a firefighter, so i don't have all the information. >> steve: so that's something they're going to be looking into. meanwhile, what do you make of this, the dallas morning news looked into the history of this particular place, the west fertilizer company. apparently they got to find, because they didn't have a risk management plan in place that met federal standards, $2,300 fine, but later it looks like they went ahead and they met the standard. is that a big deal? >> well, i would say that because of incidents like this, the federal authorities, the local and state authorities are all looking at their standards. when you have a incident like this that results in a horrific loss of human life, they're going to start changing those to get added safety. the standards are changing. if this plant failed to meet that standard initially, then it
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was corrected, again, i do not know exactly what the violations were. but the standards are definitely getting better, higher and more difficult to achieve. >> gretchen: as a former member of the new york police department in the bomb squad what, do you make of the fact that the officials are looking at this as if it's a crime scene? they say it's standard operating procedure, and so there is nothing really more to be made of that, or is there? >> the first thing i would like to point out is on the emergency tape you played, the one first responder reported it as a bomb just went off. >> gretchen: exactly. >> he didn't say it sounded like a bomb. he said a bomb. so, of course, that may have resulted in automatic -- in a horrific event like this, the people in the units, the arson unit if there is a separate unit, they may have automatically been dispatch. you heard the dispatcher saying i'm sending you everybody i have. again, because there is such a horrific amount of devastation, they can't get to where the fire scene was because it's now a
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blast scene, they are knowing and they're trying to -- unknowing and trying to determine what caused it. >> brian: thanks so much. mike white, giving us instant analysis on the explosive fertilizer and the dangers for those in the community. thanks so much, mike. >> you're welcome. >> brian: the question a lot of you have is wait a second. was this a danger? was it out of control? was this a chronic violator of epa policies? we've only found one case as of now where it did actually suffer a $2,300 penalty that was august 14, 2006. >> steve: that was. we asked earlier, somebody who lives in the neighborhood whether or not they were worried about a fertilizer plant next door. she said absolutely not. never occurred to her. meanwhile, our live coverage from texas and new york continues, you're watching "fox & friends".
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>> gretchen: fox news alert now. we're following this explosion at a west, texas fertilizer plant, the town of west. as many as 15 people have died. over 150 are injured. the blast occurred at 8:00 p.m. last night central time, rocking the small town of 2600 people. this is 20 miles north of waco, about 80 miles away from dallas. four-block radius leveled by the explosion. witnesses say they heard a loud boom and then everything around them began shaking.
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it's called totally decimated. texas officials said it's a crime scene, but no evidence yet of a crime. there are several individuals still unaccounted for. >> steve: we're going to continue to cover that devastating explosion. but we want to bring you up-to-date on two other developing stories this morning. first, fox news is confirming that the federal bureau of investigation has clear photographs, of two persons of interest in the boston marathon bombing. both guys spotted moments before the explosion. one person seen wearing a backpack that matched the bag believed to have been used in the terrorist attack. meanwhile, president obama heading to boston this morning. he will attend a memorial service at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. >> brian: and more break news. an arrest in the poisonous letter sent to the president of the united states and capitol hill. authorities say mississippi man paul kevin curtis, also an elvis impersonator, mailed three letters containing risin to
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president obama, republican senator roger wicker, his senator, and mississippi official. he was arrested at his home in mississippi. fortunately both letters were intercepted before they ever reached anyone. we do understand as well that the postmark was memphis, tennessee. >> steve: that's right. >> gretchen: we're joined on the phone by debbie marks. she wented the blast that was so strong it blew out the windshield of her car as she drove past the plant. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> gretchen: tell us exactly -- we're seeing a picture of your blown out windshield. give us your firsthand account. >> of course, a small town, we know everybody. there was so many people rushing to the fire and to see if we could help and whatever. we worked out of our cars two or three minutes and two young boys came yelling get out, get out, it's going to blow. we ran for cover. we jumped in our cars. as we were driving off, we weren't a block away from the
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plant and it was like being in iraq. it was such a strong shake, explosion. people running for cover. things were flying through the air. awful. >> steve: it was like a tornado, wasn't it? >> it was just like a tornado. things were hitting my car. i don't know why -- i guess the glass and shattered it, i don't know. >> brian: did you keep driving after your windshield was smashed? >> i tried to. i kept driving and slowed down, but there were people running out and i was afraid somebody was running in front of me. i did make it ten blocks away before i stopped and people's homes there, windows were blown out and everything. >> steve: oh, man. >> brian: we were wondering how those two kids knew it was about to blow. >> they came toward us hollering. they said to get out of here. i'm assuming the firefighters, the police who were all over
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there, i guess they were trying to get people to safety. >> gretchen: i think -- >> steve: what do you think happened to those little kids? >> i don't know. i've been praying for them all night that they made it to safety. they were just running down the street. >> gretchen: when you got out of your car, did you smell the toxins that were coming from the building? >> no. when i first got out, there were probably ten people in the area by the school nursing facility where i was standing and we didn't really smell anything at that time. everybody was just watching the fire and wondering if we need to go into the nursing facility and help the people out. but at that point, nobody was moving or doing anything. we didn't know what was going on. >> steve: it sounds like you thank god you're alive today. >> oh, my god, it was like being in iraq. i just feel for the people whose families are still missing and we ask for your prayers 'cause it's devastating. >> steve: it is devastating. debbie, this country and the world are praying for all of you folks out in west, texas. thank you very much for telling
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>> gretchen: back now with a fox news alert. brand-new video of the evacuation center that's preparing for the residents of west, texas after the explosion rocking that town. the neighboring city of abbott ready to take anyone in at its local high school. >> we have cots. we're prepared to take up to 200 people. more if we need to. there were buses lined up and just to be prepared to take any number of people that we thought we could. >> gretchen: what we know so far this morning, police believe five to 15 people may have died in this explosion. three to five volunteer firefighters are missing.
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and more than 160 other people have been hurt. >> brian: this is a small town of 3,000. you got to feel like everybody knows everyone and then this is probably one of the biggest businesses in the region, so a lot of people work there and maybe knew the dangers there. >> steve: meanwhile, debbie, we just heard from, asked for us to pray for them and prayers are coming in across the globe for the victims of that. anna kooiman has been looking on social media and joins with us more. >> good morning to everybody. i certainly have been. yes, you mentioned the town really about 2800 people there. yes, it is small, but the evacuations have been so massive, adding to the chaos. so missing persons hot lines have been set up as well, which will certainly be a good tool. social media will be an integral part. you mentioned the prayers asked for, we heard from the mayor in a press conference early. blake shelton, country music star saying, man, thinking about
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all my texas family and friends tonight. i love y'all. eva longoria tweeting, keeping the people of west, texas in my thoughts and prayers. this coming from pope francis, please join me in praying for the victims of the explosion in texas and their families. willie nelson, west has been in my backyard all my life. my heart is praying for the community that we call home, number west, texas. this coming from a citizen journalist, stopped in to get gas on my drive back from austin to dallas and a huge blast rocked the entire foundation of this place. a little scary. if we can just very quickly show the pictures that he sent in going viral on instagram, insane, these photos. that citizen journalism being very important. gretchen, brian and steve? >> steve: you notice -- thank you very much. if you noticed that mushroom cloud next to the sonic sign,
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like a sonic boom. >> gretchen: we're going to take a quick break and come back for our final hour of this special coverage of "fox & friends." right back. ♪
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jimmy how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico? happier than dracula volunteering at a blood drive. we have cookies... get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. >> gretchen: fox news alert as we top off this final hour of "fox & friends." we're following three major breaking news stories right now. first, a massive explosion, registered 2.5 on the richter scale, leveling homes across an entire texas town. devastation being compared to a war zone this morning. hundreds are injured. as many as 15 people could be dead. >> steve: then fox news confirms the f.b.i. has clear photos of two men in the boston marathon bombing. they want to talk to them. we are live in boston in a few moments. >> brian: and that's not enough. a mississippi man arrested for sending poison laced letters to the president and other lawmakers on capitol hill, all of those stories and more right
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now. >> brian: this fox news alert if texas. this is gretchen's story. a massive blast rip through a fertilizer plant near way development it happened last night. we're waiting for the fire to burn out. the horrifying moment caught on a cell phone video camera. a father and son or daughter -- was it father and son? >> gretchen: i think daughter. >> brian: father and daughter, got out to take some video from their camera phone of what they thought was a big fire. then listen. >> "explosion" -- >> you okay? >> dad, i can't hear! i can't hear! get out of here. please, get out of here. >> brian: we're trying to get ahold of that dad. maybe he'll be joining us. the fire explosion leaving dozens of homes and businesses within an eight to ten-block radius leveled. please tell us right now, five to 15 people may be dead. three volunteer firefighters
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missing and more than 160 others hurt. >> gretchen: let's get out it west, texas, where fox news reporter casey stegall has been all morning and joins us once again live. i understand the weather is changing there, the winds and rain coming in. how is that affecting the investigation right now and the status of the health of the air for people in that vicinity? >> gretchen, it's really got to be hampering this search and rescue mission underway at this hour because the wind is really picking up and the rain is really coming down. it is a cold rain. it was almost 90 degrees in this area yesterday. we're expecting a temperature drop of 25, 30-degrees. this front has moved through and some hail, severe wind, heavy winds forecasted for later this morning. so that is certainly going to be hampering the efforts, no doubt about it. it also is going to be creating some issues with any of the chemicals that would have been floating around in the air because it's going to bring all of that stuff to the ground.
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you heard dr. mark siegle talking about how it will change colors and you will be able to see it collecting on the ground. we haven't noticed any of that in this area where we are, but again, local authorities are keeping us, the media, pretty far back because they say that it is still a very dangerous situation, mandatory evacuation orders are underway. on the northern border where this incident happened. real quickly, brand-new information coming in to us from the fox news channel brain room. they're brilliant. they have a team of researchers on stand-by and we've asked them to do some digging and give us some better information in terms of the specifics of this particular facility. the fertilizer plant is the adair grain, incorporated. the facility size is pretty small, which is a little contradictory to what the sergeant from the waco police department had told us when i did a live interview with him just about an hour ago. he thought the facility was
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quite large, but according to what the brain room has dug up, it is only about 1500 square feet. the facility itself. now, of course, you have tanks and canisters that house the fertilizer and house these chemicals. that's probably not folded into the square footage. but the employees, only about 20. only about 20 people or so. last year they made almost $2 million. it's been around in this community since 1958. they do manufacture anhydrous ammonia, a very volatile compound. it's infused into the fertilizer. you heard that sergeant saying there is a railroad track that runs right by the facility and there are constantly deliveries of this chemical being made right there and put into the tanks. some 56,000 pounds of this stuff we're hearing was on site. so right now, again, the main headline, about 170 people injured and taken to area
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hospitals. still unaccounted firefighters. as to how many people lost their lives in this tragedy remains to be seen. back to you. >> steve: thank you very much. casey earlier told us there were nine medivac helicopters in the area trying to get people out. these are the last images we had from the sky. we'd love to have our helicopter. we've got the fox dallas chopper ready. it's at the airport. but given the fact that the weather is so severe there right now, it's not in the sky. as soon as that's available, we'll bring it to you. in the meantime, show us exactly how bad the weather is and to talk a little bit about how this blast showed up as an earthquake, there is maria. >> good morning. we're waking up to a horrific news event here where we had an explosion in west, texas. we do also have now a line of very strong storms rolling through this area to make matters even worse. we're talking about very heavy rain coming down out here. we could see over a quarter of an inch to maybe even a inch of rain coming down with some of
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the storms. we're expecting the rain to last several hours out here. we could see some gusts associated with some of these thunderstorms as high as 45 miles per hour. another concern, of course, is lightning that we can see with some of these thunderstorms. behind the front, we're expecting to continue to see very strong winds. we've been seeing that ahead of the system. we were also talking about a wind shift, cold fronts are generally out of the south. that's what we were observing. we're expecting that to shift from the northwest. you can see that rain coming down out here, expecting the winds to continue to be strong as we head into the next couple of days, gusting over 30 miles per hour, sustained 20 to 25 miles per hour for your thursday and even into friday out here. we are expecting drier conditions behind the front. but temperatures dropping as we head into tonight, low temperatures can make it down into the upper 30s. that will be the story as well as we head in through friday night and into saturday morning. very cold temperatures during the nighttime hours expected out here, again, winds ahead of the
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cold front, generally out of the south. behind it, we're already starting to observe the shift in the winds, coming out of the north and the west. that's what we're seeing out here across this region. that's the story along the city of west, which is about 20 miles to the north of the city of waco, about 80 miles to the south of the city of dallas in texas. another factor or another aspect of this story is that the explosion was so powerful that it actually produced these waves on the ground that traveled and were recorded in amarillo. that's a city that's more than 400 miles away from the city of west. so we saw those waves recorded out there, measured a 2.5 earthquake out there. >> steve: goes to show you how big it was. thank you. >> gretchen: we know at least three firefighters are missing and as we wait to hear about the full extent of the devastation in texas, the mayor of the town of west is asking for your prayers this morning. take a listen to the desperate dispatch calls moments after the blast. >> we need every ambulance we can get this way. a bomb just went off inside
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here. it's pretty bad. we've got a lot of firemen down. >> firefighters down. again, there has been an explosion, there are firefighters down. >> rest home has been seriously damaged. we have many people down. please respond. >> i'm getting you everybody i can. you have deputies, you have bellmead fire, you have ems. i'm sending everybody i got. >> steve: and they did. look at that, described as a mushroom cloud over west, texas last night. fire under control, such as it is. 11:00 o'clock last night, it's still smoldering, however. we'll get more to that in a moment. but our other big news story of the week, fox news learned the f.b.i. has clear photos of two people in that boston marathon bombing. according to the "boston globe" this morning, they are reluctant to refer to them as suspects, although some news outlets have. >> brian: the post is not reluctant. they have picture of these two holding backpacks together.
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here one is gone. one on the inside of this newspaper shows him staring at the race. these two here, that's one of the backpacks. he had a backpack. excuse me. it's below. people talk about well the bag had to be heavy. six liter of a pressure cooker and you couldn't take it a great distance. so they were in the middle of the crowd there on the finish line and these possibly are the two people they're looking for. the boston globe front page is different. they show a shot of the camera that shot them, the lord & taylor across the street. they have two suspects in mind. they say they know their names, according to the story, but they don't have a reason to arrest yet. but in this age with the f.b.i. and their ability and the patriot act, can you not call somebody in to say, hey, i got your names, i was wondering what you were doing it. >> gretchen: here is the problem with the whole story now, aside
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from all the leaks that came out yesterday and news outlets were reporting stuff all over the place. so why have there been all these leaks at the federal level? there obviously will be a huge investigation into that and there is so many different photos coming out, which is a good thing to help in the investigation, but which photos do you know to believe in? so for example, that photo of those two men just because they have backpacks on may be totally innocent or maybe not. that may be the two guys. at this point, we have no idea. >> brian: my idea is if it was me and steve sitting and found myself on the paper saying, hey, you got the wrong guy. we don't know where people are getting the photos from. >> gretchen: they have released photos, for example, rick leventhal, to police and he was able to view them. i believe bill hemmer at fox viewed those photos. but up until this point, fox has made the decision to not
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outwardly show the photos because they didn't want to impair the investigation. let's go to molly line. if you've been hearing our discussion about these photo, what more can you add to it? >> you guys covered a lot of ground. there are some photos out there, law enforcement have seen these. they have not been released to the public. we know that authorities throughout the course of the investigation over the last several days have been poring over all the photos and video that the public brought forward and managed to isolate some people that they're interested in. as you mentioned, they're not calling them suspects. they'd like to talk with these folks. they've been sharing this information with their fellow law enforcement community hoping to find these individuals and essentially to get to the bottom of things to clear things up. to talk to anybody they might be interested in. some of the folks here at fox news channel have been able to view those photos. i spoke with a law enforcement source that said he had seen these. so it's clear there are some images being circulated in the law enforcement community. but they have not brought them to the attention of the public. we're still waiting on word of a briefing today. we know the briefings are moving
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locations and with any luck, we'll get little update. our official update from our f.b.i. folks that have been updating us throughout the course of this investigation. also worth noting today that president obama and the first lady will be here in boston today. so there is a heightened sense of security, as there has been since these horrible events occurred. also the president signed an emergency declaration for massachusetts. no surprise there. that means that federal aid will be available to help the city out in the course of this recovery and the course of this investigation in the coming days. the president expected to join other faith leaders from all across the region and particularly from all different faiths, islamic leaders, as well as members of the jewish faith, as well as the christian community here in boston. so it will be a chance for the boston community to come together in the wake of what's occurred here. steve, gretchen, brian? >> steve: all right. thank you very much. here in new york city, people on edge as well ever since the bombing in boston. yesterday there were 94 reports
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of suspicious packages here in new york city reported and investigated by the cops. the day before, 77. because here in new york, they run ads where they say, if you see something, say something. a lot of people are saying something. >> brian: you know what i love, instead of people feeling worried and scared, they're angry. 58% of the country, according to a recent poll, says they're more angry than worried. only 27% said i'm more worried than angry about the bombings. so it just shows new a way not that we're getting used to it, but we learned to respond to it rather than feel as though wow, we've never been down this road before. we've been down this road way too much. >> gretchen: i might have respondedded both on that survey. we're going to continue our coverage of all these breaking stories for you this morning. we'll be right back right after this ♪
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that's the power of german engineering. >> gretchen: welcome back. brand-new video in. triage center has now been set up at a football field in the town of west, texas. we're refreshing patients with severe burns are being treated. dr. mark siegle joins us to what other injuries are being dealt with at the local hospitals there. it's our understanding that three hospitals have really been seeing these patients. the most severely burned have gone up to parkland in dallas.
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there are two others in waco. one is seeing more serious patients. the other seeing less so. what types of injuries, besides burns, would we be talking about? >> to start with the burns, they have to differentiate whether they're due to chemical or just from the explosion itself. with chemical burns, water is the main treatment. you have to keep flushing the area intervenus fluids, because you've got to get the toxin out of there. you get rid of dead skin and watch for infection in all burns. the other injuries, as you bring up, you worry about people having fallen, fractures, glass being imbedded, and foreign bodies. if you get some foreign bodies in there, then you have to worry about taking them out and the risk of infection of things staying in. so you try to get these foreign objects out as quickly as possible. >> steve: that was one of the worries earlier in the week up in boston. >> that's exactly the same thing. >> steve: some of the people have 30 nails in them and they try to take them out before they sew them up, they want to make sure they got everything.
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>> totally different situation, but from a medical point of view, if it's a foreign object in there, you got to get it out and you worry about infection. >> brian: you hear the little kid with his dad saying, i can't hear, i can't hear. i'm wondering, anyone near the explosion, was it loud enough where people's hearing, like in boston, was going to be affected? >> in both cases, you're going to hear about that, head trauma that you don't hear about initially, concussions you don't hear about initially. ear drums that are blown out you don't hear about initially, and ringing in the ears. when you're near an explosion, that's the number one thing you're going to see, people having ringing in the ears or loss of hearing. it can either be temporary or it can last for quite some time. >> gretchen: what about breathing in? we're talk being these types of fumes and toxins, who is in danger and mo who is not? >> it all depends on how close you are to this. anhydrous ammonia, you need at least 100 parts per million to be a major irritant with the lungs. again, this particular chemical sucks the water out of the tissues. so right i way you treat people with oxygen and with air. the more oxygen you can give into the lungs, the better.
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you have to put them on oxygen traumatic problems emotionally later on. anxiety, depression, nightmares, flashbacks. that's what you worry about in the months to come. >> brian: thank you so much and stick around. when we come back, we'll have more on the latest from west, texas and also go back to boston for the latest on the bombings, suspicion the preparations -- as well as the preparations for the arrival of the president. don't go away
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fire. they then realized that possibly
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this whole thing could blow. they apparently told people to run for their lives and it, in fact, did blow, causing a 2.5 earthquake on the richter scale miles and miles away. >> steve: right now we're joined on the phone by pastor james stevens of first baptist church of ghoulston, 50 miles away from west, texas, near waco. they have opened up their church to people who are seeking shelter and the pastor joins us right now. good morning. >> good morning. >> steve: we have seen that the epicenter of the explosion leveled that town. there are a lot of people who need someplace to go and now you're reaching out, aren't you? >> yes, we are. we did open up our doors last night around 10:00 o'clock for people of west who needed a place to stay. currently we only have a few people staying with us, but we expect more probably throughout the day today seeking shelter. >> brian: what do you know about that town? >> i know a little bit about the
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town. we do have families and friends, people are in our church who have family and relatives over there. so we're hearing and waking up to the devastation this morning in the news of what's going on. >> gretchen: pastor, can you tell us the people who have come to you to seek some sort of shelter, did they lose their homes? were they workers at the plant? who are they? >> a gentleman, he was upstairs doing a radio interview in the studio upstairs and he felt the explosion and he immediately, he saw the fire and he was asked to leave. they can't go back. so they don't know if they lost their house or what. so they're still in limbo. they're in a fog this morning. >> steve: i bet the whole town is, pastor. in a small town, everybody knows everybody. you're in that area. you've already heard some names of some people who did not make it out alive, haven't you? >> yes. we just got word through some friends that robbie payne, who
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is one of the directors at the funeral home here in west is in icu, don't know exactly what's going on with him. being a pastor, working with him on funerals and know him personally. >> brian: what's his name? i'm sorry. >> robbie payne. >> gretchen: so much has been made this morning about prayers, the mayor asked for the rest of the country to pray. obviously you're a pastor, so you are asking for the same thing from all of our viewers this morning. >> yes. it's god who is going to see us through and give us strength and the grace fort days and weeks ahead as we hear about our friends and loved ones who have either been injured or have gone home to heaven this morning. >> brian: what does it mean to you that the pope tweeted out the same sentiment? >> well, i'm shocked this morning. i was sitting here with our youth minister looking through some pictures and what people are posting on facebook. i said look at that, pope francis already posted something. i really think that's an awesome thing he's doing and thoughts
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and prayers are with us. >> steve: absolutely. pastor james stevens joining us on the line from down there in texas. sir, thank you very much. >> thank you, god bless you guys. have a great day. >> steve: god bless you for opening your doors to all those people who need a house. >> brian: we're going to continue to update ou on what's happening in west, texas. it's in central texas. but also when we come back, we'll go live to look on an update on the patients trying to get better and out of the hospital over in boston. this is "fox & friends"
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>> steve: fox news alert. let's go to boston medical center for the daily update on how patients are doing there after the bombing at the boston marathon. >> really paid great dividends on monday and continue to pay dividends throughout the course of the week and the testament to the small number of lives lost is evidence to that. >> good morning. i wanted to come today because we knew there was lots of questions about the emotional needs and mental health of our patients and their families. so i direct a program called the community balance response team. it's a federally victims of crime act funded program. lies within our trauma program here. these are clinicians who are specifically trained to respond to trauma, disaster, grief, so we have been working with all of the patients and families here at the hospital, alongside our social workers and our
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colleagues and psychiatrists to make sure we're supporting these families and i wanted to be here to answer any questions about that. but we're really working hard to make sure everybody gets the care they need. >> we'll open it up to questions. >> so obviously the people who are there, the spectators and the runners are going to have emotional trauma, things happening. what about the first responders? what sort of trauma -- a lot of them who were in the tent then went to the hospital and have been working. when should they expect to start processing or feeling the effects? >> you know, basically right away. we've been holding our social work department and my group has been holding debriefings within the hospitals, we've been getting together in small groups and in large groups to debrief our staff. i met with people in the emergency department yesterday to debrief monday's event, and the emt's were present there, joined us. so we're constantly trying to engage staff in that. i think that -- it's an ongoing
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process. people are already starting to feel the emotional impact. >> what is that like, the emotional impact? what does that look like? >> it's very similar to the impact on patients and families, to be honest. people have -- the familiesis ir work, so it's just what you do. but we know it's deeper than that. if you don't take care of yourself and really engage yourself in care activities, you won't have the recovery that you need and be able to continue to do this work in an effective way. so we see people with the same symptoms of anger, sadness, shock, disbelief, very, very similar to things that we would see from family members and other people who were at the marathon or in boston at this event. we encourage different types of strategies of self-care to be able to get up in the morning and come in and take care of these patients and do the work. it's very similar. >> what type of strategies are there? >> you know, lots of things that
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we recommend is when you're at a point when you feel comfortable sharing, sharing with colleague colleagues, tapping into these debrief events. we recommend relaxation and meditation practices. a lot of holistic medicine that's offered that's really, really great. exercise, things that you normally do to cope with normal daily stress activities. not forgetting those things. >> i can't emphasize this enough that to be able to take care of our patients as well as we can, we also need to take care of ourselves and the people who help us do this. wellness is a concept that shouldn't be forgotten. we need to be careful of ourselves and our patients as well. everybody will do better if everybody looks after each other >> is there a specific time firemen and police are on or off? >> there are all kinds of rules now about training residents and
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then medical students. for the attending staff, there is less of that. we have a robust system with a lot of attendings that are dedicated just to the care of trauma patients and as part of our process, we look after ourselves and try not to avoid creating situations where fatigue becomes an issue 'cause we think that will badly affect how well we are able to take care of patients. so we have a system that interacts with itself and allows us -- >> steve: dr. peter burke giving today's daily briefing from boston medical. the numbers you need to know, they still have one patient in critical condition, five in fair, ten serious. still 16 people who are injured on monday are in their care. >> brian: there is two operations going to take place today and a lot of people questioning the young boy, how is he doing. i believe he is also at the boston medical center. one of three area hospitals taking care of the 180 wounded. the boy suffered a head injury
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and as of this morning, i didn't hear it on this update, was improving enough where he could go home today. >> steve: that's great. >> gretchen: that was an update on some of the patients. but all eyes are also on the investigation. of course news quibbles the f.b.i. has two persons who are persons of interest. molly lines who more. good morning. >> good morning. we want to stress the f.b.i. has yet to release an official photo of a suspect or to ask for the public's help to say we would like to know this particular individual. but we have word if federal investigators that are telling us that some people have been isolated in these images. we know that they've been collecting all the photo, all the video they can from that area, both from the store front and from the public as well to try to find people that may have been in the area immediately before the bombing and could be responsible for the bombing and now we have word that they have managed to locate a few people in the -- amongst these images that they'd either like to speak with or have some interest in. so the investigation is slowly
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moving forward. we're waiting on a briefing to get more information. hopefully we'll get clarification to what exactly they have. we know that rick leventhal has seen photos from one law enforcement source that may have been circulated among those law enforcement community, but yet to be circulated amongst the public. who knows? this could be just a matter of clearing folks, various individuals of interest in the crowd as this investigation moves forward. also worth noting, the president will be here in boston, along with the first lady. he'll be joining interfaith leaders, people of all faiths, the christian faith, muslim faith, and jewish faith today in an interfaith ceremony. really speaking to the community of boston and all about pulling the community together. also worth noting, the president signed an emergency declaration here. that will allow federal aid to help out the city of boston. steve, gretchen, brian? >> steve: thank you very much. >> brian: it's hard to imagine a more impactful day than yesterday, we thought we had them arrested and it all fell apart. >> steve: it did. >> gretchen: at least for now.
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>> steve: we do know and there are images being leased of certain parts of evidence, they show a little piece of circuit board, a $3 battery that apparently was used to detonate the pressure cooker bomb. and apparently the lid to one of the pressure cookers now a key piece of evidence. that was found 35 feet from the point where it blew up on the roof of the charles mark hotel on boylston street. apparently one of the guests there saw it, picked it up, gave it to an authority and said hey, here is a hub cap. it wasn't a hub cap. it was a lid to the pressure consumer. >> it was so good. no one would just toss it aside. we'll find out if anything happens today and where this investigation is going. keep in mind, when people say al-qaeda, they always tell everyone after the attack, they take credit. it was caught in something we were never supposed to see with that legless sheik in afghanistan. meanwhile, now to the other breaking story happening overnight. the huge and deadly explosion in
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texas between five and 15 people are dead. 160 are injured. it happened at fertilizer plant in the town of west, texas. the blast you just heard leveled a four-block radius and could be felt from as far as 30 miles away. >> gretchen: fox news reporter casey stegall has been there all morning and joins us once again live. what's the latest? >> good morning to you guys. the mayor has released a little bit of new information and said that basically now that the sun, even though it's behind the clouds because of the severe storms moving through, but now that we have some daylight, apparently the explosion has leveled a stretch of area about five miles wide. that is from the mayor here of west, texas. again, west, texas sits 20 miles north of waco and about 80 miles south of dallas. so just a huge explosion. it started out as a fire that was burning at this fertilizer
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plant that makes anhydrous ammonia and firefighters were called out. they got out. they were trying to get the flames under control and once they knew that it started moving and creeping a little closer to some of those anhydrous ammonia tanks, they got concerned and started ordering evacuations for people that were nearby and then the next thing you knew, the thing went up. a massive explosion sending flames some 100 feet into the air. i want to bring in a live guest now who actually was driving along through here when the explosion happened. hi, thank you. i know it's been a crazy, crazy night for you. tell me your name, if you will, and what were you doing? you were driving near the area? >> yes. my name is jill jenkins, and we saw the fire and so we kind of drove over there to see what it was and as we got closer, it exploded. >> it lifted your car off the ground? >> kind of lifted it up, like it was like a bomb.
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>> what on earth goes through your mind when that happens? >> i had no idea what it was. i still didn't know what it was until we turnedded corner and got by the nursing home and the apartments and saw it was like 9-11. >> we're certainly happy you and your family are okay and no doubt the thoughts and prayers from all of america go out to the people living in this community. thank you very much for your time this morning. we're going to hear a lot of stories like that panning out over the next couple of hours, days, even weeks. just incredible news. a major catastrophe unfolding here in central texas this morning. >> steve: all right. thank you. real quickly, it sounded like you said it leveled an area five miles wide. did you mean five miles or five blocks? >> five miles is what the mayor had said. again, we're going to have to wait until it rain subsides so we can get the news helicopters up and we can kind of get a sense of this for ourselves. but that is what the mayor is saying. five miles wide.
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>> gretchen: you've been doing a great job out there. you were there from the beginning. thanks so much for all of your reporting today. >> appreciate it. >> gretchen: coming up, we'll take a quick break. peter johnson, jr., our legal expert, will be here to talk about why they're deeming this a criminal act, standard operating procedure or should we read more into that? right back.
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>> steve: our top story, massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in west, texas.
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we got new video in showing the complete devastation left behind after the blast rocked the town. this is cell phone video of a driver surveying what is left of some homes and there you can see driving by looks like the high school football field. building completely blown out. massive explosion sent flames up to 100 feet in the air and completely leveled everything in at least a four-block radius, although we just heard from casey stegall and he was quoting the mayor saying there was devastation as wide as five miles. >> gretchen: so many people fearing the worst from the texas plant blew up, not knowing where family and friends were. one teen was at church and said he began to panic when he couldn't get a call out to his father. >> so i was panicking. i was like, running through my head the worst minutes of my life saying, where is my dad? finally i got some service, i called him and he said that he was three, four blocks from the blast and my first thought was
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okay. are you okay? and he was like yes, i'm okay. >> gretchen: luckily that father was okay. and the teen could relax just for a moment. in the meantime, police in texas say there is no indication this morning that a fertilizer plant explosion was anything but an industrial accident. so where does the accountability lie for this disaster? do we even know at this point? fox news legal analyst peter johnson, jr. joins us to weigh in. hi. as a lawyer, do you take the step now to speculate what may have happened or what legal grounds may be there or do you wait and see? >> this will be a massive state, federal and local investigation. epa will be involved. there is another federal organization that was talked about this morning, the u.s. chemical safety board, which is about three years behind on the investigations. they will be looking at this in terms of the causes as well. texas state officials will be looking at it. it's important to know and understand that this plant told the state of texas and the federal government that there was no risk of fire or explosion
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at this facility. at the very least, there would be a ten-minute release of ammonia into the atmosphere. they also, as the conditions were building the facility, agreed to build a wall between the public road and the tanks to insure that motorists would not be affected by any kind of untoward release or explosion thereafter. but here we're talk being a mushroom cloud. we're talking about people describing it as a sub nuclear explosion that could be felt 60 miles away. 2.0 or something on the richter scale as you described this morning. is this a manmade problem? is this a mechanical problem? we know that there are problems with hoses and valves in these kind of facilities. all the parts of the government will be looking hard at this to see what happened. >> steve: real quickly, they categorized it as a crime scene right now, although they don't expect it is foul play. >> i don't think there is any indication of foul play. it's an unfortunate characterization given the proximity to the anniversary of the waco disaster.
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i don't understand that. >> gretchen: i think part of that could have been because one of the first calls that came in to dispatch, the gentleman said, there has been a huge bomb explosion, there has been a bomb. or it's just standard operating procedure. >> we pray for the people of the town and for the volunteer firefighters and hope that as many people who can be well are well this morning. >> steve: indeed. thank you very much. >> good to see you. >> steve: next up, one of the texas first responders, you'll hear from them coming up. you're watching "fox & friends" as your life and career change, fidelity is there for your personal economy, helping you readjust your retirement plan along the way. rethink how you're invested. and refocus as your career moves forward. wherever you are today, a fidelity ira has a wide range of investment choices
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>> announcer: introducing the redesigned jitterbug plus, our smartest, easiest cell phone yet. >> when i heard about the jitterbug, i went online and ordered one for my mom. now my mom has a cell phone she actually enjoys using. >> announcer: the jitterbug plus is easy to use, easy to see, and it has the longest-lasting battery on the market. for a limited time, get a free car charger with purchase. to locate a store near you, visit greatcall-- people you can count on. >> good morning, i'm bill hemmer. our coverage continues at the top of the hour. the president and first lady coming to boston. this while a red hot investigation continues. all the latest information we
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can report today on that. of course, we're watching the developments at a waco, texas. what a stunning site that is. another very busy day. we'll have it for you at the top of the hour on "america's newsroom". >> i was standing by the end of my bed and where i landed was by the bathroom, about ten feet closer into the house. >> gretchen: so as you can see, that man suffered some minor injuries from the texas plant explosion. he's lucky. at last check, the number of those injured is more than 170. 38 people are in serious condition. 24 are critical. up to 15 people may have died in that explosion. >> brian: joining us right now on the phone, thomas alford, who lives two miles from the plant. he was just getting home when the blast hit and he immediately ran to the high school football field with a tree -- where the triage was set up.
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good morning. >> good morning. >> brian: where are you now? >> i'm at home right now. >> brian: what did you see when you got to the field? >> well, i first felt the explosion here at the house and i knew right off it was an explosion. i looked outside and there is a pick plume of smoke, it looked like a bomb or something went off to me. so i drove over there and i seen, you know, it looked like mayhem. i seen one of the firemen come running down the road and he fell to his knees and another was holding him and he was just crying, you know. i knew some people might have got hurt pretty bad over there. then they were telling everybody they need to evacuate a mile radius in case anything else blew up. >> steve: you lived in that neighborhood for a very long time. driven by that fertilizer plant a million times as well. did you ever think that could happen there? >> you know what?
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last year i went there and bought fertilizer and i never dreamed something like this could happen, you know. it's unbelievable. >> gretchen: what's the damage to your home? >> there was no damage. i'm on the south side of west. there was no damage over here. as i drove through west, windows are blown out, you know. a friend of mine, i called him, we're real close. he was at home and with his two kids and every window in his house blew out. blew him and his wife up against the wall and so they evacuated, went to his parents, you know. >> steve: a bunch of your neighbors don't have places to live anymore and a number of them are dead, unfortunately. >> right. >> steve: we thank you very much for joining us and telling us where you were last night when the fertilizer plant exploded. thank you, sir. >> gretchen: more "fox & friends" three minutes away.
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