Obama Issues Emergency Declaration For West

The president has issued an emergency declaration for West, authorizing FEMA to coordinate disaster relief efforts in the explosion-ravaged Central Texas town.

(Courtesy photo)

WASHINGTON (April 20, 2013)--President Barack Obama has issued an emergency declaration and pledged disaster relief aid to help in the recovery efforts following the deadly fertilizer plant explosion Wednesday night in West.

Mr. Obama's order Friday night authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts in the town of 2,700.

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The explosion Wednesday night at West Fertilizer Co., killed at least 14, nine of them firefighters, and injured about 200, some critically.

Dozens of homes and buildings were destroyed including a two-story apartment complex and others, including a nursing home and three of West’s four schools, were heavily damaged.

Mr. Obama said he's spoken with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and West's mayor, Tommy Muska, and he pledged that the community will have the resources it needs to rebuild.

“Our thoughts, our prayers are with the people of West, Texas, where so many good people lost their lives; some lost their homes; many are injured; many are still missing,” he said.

“I've talked to Governor Perry and Mayor Muska and I've pledged that the people of West will have the resources that they need to recover and rebuild. And I want everybody in Texas to know that we will follow through with those commitments,” he said.


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