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Texas fertilizer plant explosion leaves injured


A major explosion at a fertilizer plant outside the Texas town of Waco Wednesday left several people injured, and was so powerful it set fire to nearby buildings, authorities said.

The West Fertilizer facility had an anhydrous ammonia explosion, Waco Assistant Fire Chief Don Yeager told AFP by phone. The cause was not immediately known.

Fire departments from nearby jurisdictions rushed to the scene in the town of West, north of Waco, where the blast was so powerful it knocked down some nearby buildings, and set fire to others, Yeager said.

"An explosion has ignited adjacent structures to the plant," he said.

The injured were being rushed to local hospitals, Yeager said, noting that he did not have any fatalities. He could not immediately say how many people were hurt.

The explosion comes as the United States, already on edge, pieces through deadly explosions that hit the Boston marathon on Monday, which were followed by letters, apparently poisoned with ricin, sent to a US senator and the US president.

April 19 will be the 20th anniversary of the Waco siege, a deadly confrontation between federal authorities and heavily armed locals there. After a 51-day standoff a gun battle broke out with US agents and the Branch Davidian compound burned. Dozens of people were killed in an incident that many far-right groups see as a symbol of egregious US government overreach.