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An explosion Wednesday night at a fertilizer plant near Waco sent flames shooting high into the night sky, leaving the factory a smoldering ruin, causing major damage at nearby buildings and injuring numerous people.

The blast at the plant in West, a community north of Waco, happened shortly before 8 p.m. and could be heard as far away as Waxahachie, 45 miles to the north.

Several fires continued to burn in West two hours after the blast.

A source told WFAA TV that a large swath of the small town with a population of 2,800 was leveled.

According to initial reports, the blast shortly before 8 p.m. was at the West Fertilizer plant at 1471 Jerry Mashek Drive, about a half-mile east of Interstate 35.

The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed there were multiple injuries.

An emergency dispatcher appealed for more more help. I need anybody and everybody, she said.

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 the high school football field, where personnel were waiting for medical helicopters.

The town's community hospital is about four blocks from the burning fertilizer plant.

Latest updates from WFAA

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