14 bodies recovered in West fertilizer plant explosion in Texas


Smoke rises in the distance about half a mile from the West Fertilizer Company, April 18, 2013 in West, Texas. A massive explosion at the fertilizer company injured more than 100 people and left damaged buildings for blocks in every direction.


Chip Somodevilla

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Jason Reyes said fourteen bodies have been recovered in West, Texas  from a massive fertilizer plant explosion which has left some 200 other people injured and destroyed dozens of homes, according to the BBC.

Rescue crews and search teams continue to spend their days sifting through the rubble looking for survivors in the wake of Wednesday's blast, CBS News reported.

"This is still being treated as a crime scene," Reyes said.

It remains unclear exactly how many people were killed and what caused the fire and explosion at the plant about 20 miles north of Waco.

Federal and local authorities are working together to determine the cause of the deadly blast which demolished 50 homes in the neighborhood and badly damaged a surrounding five-block area, CBS News said.

More from GlobalPost: Fertilizer plant explosion rocks small town of West, Texas (VIDEO)

In the small town of 2,800 people, half of whom were evacuated, many fear high causalities among the first responders who first rushed to the scene.

Reyes said Friday he was unable to confirm how many first responders were among those dead.

On Thursday, the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas confirmed five West firefighters, one Dallas firefighter and four emergency responders were killed.

The West Fertilizer Co. plant stores and distributes anhydrous ammonia.

There are conflicting reports about the company's safety record, CNN said.

But the Associated Press said the company was fined $10,000 last year for safety violations related to its labeling and transportation of anhydrous ammonia.