Search and Rescue Effort Still Ongoing in West, Texas - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Search and Rescue Effort Still Ongoing in West, Texas

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WEST, Texas (ABC) - Police in West, Texas, continue to call it a search and rescue effort, but as the hours go by, finding people alive is becoming less and less likely.

Senator John Cornyn said 60 people are unaccounted for in the town, as two nights of temperatures in the 40s have now passed, and survival for somebody who is injured would be tough. At last report, the death toll has risen to 14 people.

Still, rescue teams are not giving up. They continue searching the still smoldering remains of structures near the fertilizer plant in West. 150 buildings in the small town of 2,800 have been searched, and there are still more to comb through.

Many properties in the neighborhood were flattened after the blast. Nearby buildings crumbled, including 50 homes, an apartment building, a school and a nursing home. Local authorities still don't know how many people are missing.

While there are no indications that the blast was anything other than an industrial accident, authorities haven't officially pointed to a cause.

"We are still treating it as a crime scene," said Sgt. Jason Reyes of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

More than 1,000 people packed into a church Thursday night to pray for those who were killed, injured or left homeless by the deadly explosion.

West is a close-knit community, where almost everyone knew someone affected
by the tragedy.

"We need everybody to pray," volunteer Rob Buchanan said. "That is the only thing that is going to save us right now.

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