Most of the deaths in West, Texas explosion were first responders


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

Crews continue to search for survivors in West, Texas days after a enormous explosion at a fertilizer plant killed at least fourteen people and injured some 200 others.

Authorities there say a majority of the bodies retrieved are volunteer firefighters and emergency medical workers who rushed to the scene, CBS News reported.

Wednesday's blast could be felt 50 miles away and up to 75 homes were destroyed in the fire and massive explosion in the small town of 2,800 not far from Waco, Fox News said.

More from GlobalPost: 14 bodies recovered in West fertilizer plant explosion in Texas

President Barack Obama said Friday night at a White House press conference "I want them to know that they are not forgotten."

He has pledged aid to assist disaster relief and recovery efforts and ordered an emergency declaration, the Associated Press said.

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will coordinate those efforts in the coming days and weeks with the help of at least six state and federal agencies, CBS News said.

It is still unclear what caused the explosion.