WEST, Texas (AP) – Officials haven’t yet identified the 12 people whose bodies have been found in the remnants of a tiny Texas farm town in the aftermath of an explosion at a fertilizer plant.
But the victims are believed to include a small group of firefighters and other first-responders who had headed toward the plant to fight a fire that apparently touched off the explosion.
A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety says efforts to search the devastated buildings are continuing.
The one fatality who has been publicly identified was Kenny Harris, a captain in the Dallas Fire Department who lived nearby. He was off-duty at the time, but responded to the fire to help.
Although the names of the rest of the dead haven’t been publicly released, word is spreading through the small community. One woman who lived in an apartment complex across the street from the plant that was leveled by the blast says she learned that two volunteer firefighters she knew were dead — including a man who had been best man at her nephew’s wedding.