Dozens Still Missing in Texas Fertilizer Explosion

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Nearly two days after a fertilizer plant in West, Texas caught fire and exploded, 60 people remain unaccounted for in the town of 2,807. In a week that saw two blasts at the Boston Marathon send authorities on a multi-state manhunt in pursuit of two suspects and the eventual shutdown of an entire city, the situation in West remains unclear. According to The Dallas Morning News, Texas Senator John Cornyn told reporters, while touring the explosion site on Friday, "said that 60 people haven't been located and said many could be alive and staying with friends and family." The number of reported casualties remains at 12 — including 11 first responders — but the whereabouts of several dozen have yet to be determined, in part because the number of affected buildings is so large. Per the Morning News:

Twenty-five buildings have yet to be cleared by the search and rescue teams.  Local, state and federal officials were scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. to devise a plan for allowing residents back into the area affected by the blast. Multiple obstacles must be overcome before people can live in the area. Some bodies still must be recovered, and buildings need to be inspected to make sure they are structurally sound, officials said. With at least 175 buildings in the blast zone, that will take time.

The origin of the fire and subsequent blast, which sent a towering plume of smoke into the air, is as yet unconfirmed

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