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West Morning Update: Looking for survivors, taking stock of damages, support pours in

You can watch the Livestream of the Waco PD Sgt. Patrick Swanson Morning press conference here. The focus is now on the search for survivors. There is an unknown number of people still trapped in the rubble.

Quick notes from the press conference:

  • They are approaching this as a Search and Rescue. Main efforts focused on going door to door. NO numbers.
  • There have been some reports of looting [really, people? really?], so law enforcement is taking to ensure that the property of West citizens who have been evacuated is safe.
  • Not going to let press in yet because of safety concerns about controlled, yet still burning, fires
  • There are no new numbers, but there are firefighters still missing. One of the missing firefighters has been found; he is in the hospital with serious injuries.
  • No word on the cause of the fire. Texas ATF is on site.
  • He estimates that there were 300-400 people who came to West in an official capacity (police, medical, etc.)
  • Red Cross is on the scene and the community has really come together. This is a tight-knit, family-oriented town. "I can promise you that no West citizen is going to let anybody be stuck out in the rain."
  • There are grief counselors located at the High School.
  • Businesses and restaurants in Waco have been shipping supplies in overnight.There is not currently a need for supplies.
  • They are not going to call in the National Guard, though they have been in contact with them. There is currently enough of a police presence on site, though that may change when they need to be relieved. They have also been in contact with the Governor's office.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>"All that community is gone" @<a href="https://twitter.com/wacopolice">wacopolice</a> referring to <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23West">#West</a> due to the <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23WestExplosion">#WestExplosion</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23KWTXAM">#KWTXAM</a></p>&mdash; Taina Maya (@TainaMayaKWTX) <a href="https://twitter.com/TainaMayaKWTX/status/324875428349231105">April 18, 2013</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>The State is responding to <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23WestExplosion">#WestExplosion</a> We'll hear from @<a href="https://twitter.com/governorperry">governorperry</a> on specific emergency response efforts at 11:45am</p>&mdash; Jessica Vess (@JessicaV_KVUE) <a href="https://twitter.com/JessicaV_KVUE/status/324872254213214208">April 18, 2013</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Please join me in praying for the victims of the explosion in Texas and their families.</p>&mdash; Pope Francis (@Pontifex) <a href="https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/324814961572446209">April 18, 2013</a></blockquote>
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