Officials backtrack on fatality count in fertilizer explosion in West

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WEST — Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Jason Reyes backtracked on previous statements at an afternoon press conference Thursday regarding the number of fatalities of the fertilizer plant's explosion in West, a small town about 20 miles north of Waco.

Previously, officials had said they believed 5-15 were dead as the result of an explosion that happened Wesnesday night. Reyes is now saying he cannot comment on how many died, just that there are fatalities.

The explosion destroyed 50 to 70 homes, an apartment with 50 complexities, a nursing home and a nursing school. People as far as 45 miles away claimed they could hear the explosion.

The next press conference is scheduled for 6 p.m. CST.