Explosions rocked a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, Wednesday evening as firefighters were battling a fire, causing multiple injuries, authorities said.
Dani Moore, dispatcher with the Texas Department of Pubic Safety, said she did not know how many were injured or the extent of their injuries. “The fertilizer plant was on fire. Firefighters were on the scene. There was an explosion … followed by a second explosion,” she said, “there were multiple damages to structures and vehicles.” She said she had no information on the cause of the blasts or fire.
WFAA.com reported at least 10 structures were on fire, including a school which is next door to the plant. An emergency triage center was set up at a high school football field. The TV station said on its website that a shock wave was felt in parts of North Texas. The Waco Tribune reported injuries to several people including firefighters. The fertilizer plant is about 20 miles north of Waco and just off Interstate 35.
KWTX.com reported one of the nearby buildings damaged was a nursing home, and state troopers transported some of the injured to hospitals in patrol cars. It also said the explosion knocked out electrical power to part of the community. Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco, was receiving some of the injured. Answering the phone at the hospital, Karen Jackson said she could provide no information on the number of injured or the extent.
NBC World News — Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the “Iron Lady” who led a conservative resurgence in her home country and forged a legendary partnership with President Ronald Reagan, died Monday following a stroke, her spokesman said. She was 87.
Thatcher led Britain from 1979 to 1990 and was the longest-serving prime minister of the postwar era. The spokesman, Lord Tim Bell, said: “It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning.”
Thatcher’s daughter said in 2008 that she had been suffering from dementia for eight years, and had to be reminded that her husband was dead. She had a well-known friendship with Reagan during his two terms as president in the 1980s. They shared an allegiance to free-market principles and opposition to the Soviet Union.
NBC News: Two American B-2 Spirit stealth bombers practiced an attack on the Korean Peninsula Thursday as part of a military exercise that has sparked angry threats from North Korea.
The U.S. military said the planes involved in the firing drill left Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri on a “long-duration, round-trip training mission.”
Photo: A U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bomber (left) flies over Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on Thursday. (Sin Young-Keun / Yonhap via Reuters)
Hmm… The situation’s getting serious on Peninsula:
… B-2 Spirit bombers are capable of carrying either conventional or nuclear weapons. In a statement, the United States Forces Korea said the mission “demonstrates the United States’ ability to conduct long-range, precision strikes quickly and at will.”
Dubbed “Foal Eagle,” the training exercise involves about 200,000 South Korean troops and 10,000 U.S. forces and is due to continue until the end of April.
Updated at 6:36 a.m. ET: ROME — Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday he will resign on February 28 because of his failing health, saying he no longer has the strength to carry out his duties. Greg Burke, senior communication adviser to the Holy See, said the 85-year-old pope will step down on February 28 — becoming the first pope to resign since at least 1415.
The pope announced his decision during an address, in Latin, at the “Concistory for the canonization of the martyrs of Otranto”, a relatively small event held early this morning. His statement was posted on the Vatican Radio website. “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” the pontiff’s statement said.