Pope Francis Asks Twitter Followers To Pray For Texas Explosion Victims

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A man holds a smartphone showing Pope Francis' first tweet in front of a computer screen showing the same tweet on March 17, 2013 in Rome. Pope Francis issued his first tweet on Sunday shortly after performing his first Angelus prayer, with a consistent message: 'Pray for me'. 'Dear friends, I thank you from my heart and ask you to continue to pray for me,' the Argentine pope tweeted from the @Pontifex account. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty Images

WEST, Texas -- The pope is using his Twitter account to ask followers to pray for victims of a fatal fertilizer plant explosion in a small Texas town.

In a message posted Thursday morning, Pope Francis said: "Please join me in praying for the victims of the explosion in Texas and their families."

The newly installed pontiff's Twitter page shows he's posted 18 tweets in the past month.

Authorities say a massive fire and explosion at a downtown fertilizer plant in West killed as many as 15 people Wednesday evening and injured more than 160 others. Several firefighters are still missing.

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