Officials are still searching for 60 people who remain unaccounted for following an explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. plant in Texas Wednesday night, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) announced at a press conference on Friday, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Associated Press reports:
Officials did not identify those killed, but the dead were believed to include a small group of firefighters and other first-responders who rushed toward the West Fertilizer Co. to battle a fire that apparently touched off the blast.
Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Jason Reyes said he could not confirm how many first-responders had been killed. Efforts to search the devastated buildings were continuing, he added.
The Texas fertilizer plant had not been inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration since 1985, the Associated Press reported.
Officials at the plant had previously told the Environmental Protection Agency and local authorities that the factory presented no risk of explosion, according to a review of the documents by the Dallas Morning News.