By Leezel Tanglao leezeltanglaoFollow on Twitter
6 55 a.m. ET An administration official tells ABC News that President Obama has been notified of the situation in Texas.
The president has been notified. The administration is closely monitoring through FEMA who is also in contact with state and local officials who are responding an official told ABC News in an email.
6 39 a.m. ET West Mayor Tommy Muska said perhaps 60 homes have been damaged. All of the nursing home patients have been accounted for and all of downtown West Texas has been evacuated.
For those trying to locate their family members please call 254 826 4115
6 30 a.m. ET Nightline featured dramatic cellphone footage of the explosion. Residents said the explosion sounded like a massive bomb.
5 45 a.m. ET Sgt. William Patrick Swanton of the Waco Texas Police Department estimated 5 to 15 fatalities from the fertilizer plant explosion. Swanton said 3 to 5 firefighters have been killed and there is also a law enforcement official who is unaccounted for.
5 23 a.m. ET Pope Francis tweeted on his official Twitter account Please join me in praying for the victims of the explosion in Texas and their families.
4 11 a.m. ET ABC Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser says a continuing danger from the Texas fertilizer plant explosion and fire is exposure to ammonia.
What you see with high level ammonia exposure is damage to your eyes to your throat to your nose to your esophagus when you swallow Besser told ABC News Radio. A blast that s going in one direction if you get a change in the wind it can come to another neighborhood and be affected.
LM Otero/AP Photo
3 52 a.m. ET ABC News has confirmed there are a total of 179 people hospitalized with 10 additional people in triage. At least 24 are in critical condition nine of which are burn victims sent to Parkland Hospital in Dallas.
At least 38 people are in serious condition.
Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco David Argueta vice president of operations says they currently have over 100 patients with lacerations orthopedic and burn injuries. There are 12 people in surgery or have been admitted that are critical. More than 38 are seriously injured but no fatalities have been reported.
Providence Healthcare Network in Waco Spokesperson Heather Beck says they have currently treated 65 patients. Of the 65 patients 12 have patients have broken bones burns and head injuries. One patient is in critical condition.
3 38 a.m. ET Sgt. William Patrick Swanton spokesman for the Waco police expressed a concern of new explosions or leaks of ammonia from the plant s ruins.
2 58 a.m. ET After hearing firefighters were down George Willoughby a police officer in a neighboring town rushed to help the injured.
I wasn t here (in West). I was in another town but yeah we felt up it (explosion) up there too Willoughby told ABC News Radio.
2 45 a.m. ET A team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) will be heading to the scene of the West Fertilizer Plant explosion according to a CSB news release. They are expected to arrive Thursday afternoon.
2 31 a.m. ET PHOTOS Explosion Rips Through West Texas Fertilizer Plant
2 24 a.m. ET Jonnie Payne of Aderhold Funeral Home in West Texas told ABC News that she has not received any calls as of yet about fatalities. She said when the explosi0n happened her whole house shook.
My son went out there to check on what happened and was injured in the explosion. He s now in a hospital in Waco with a broken collarbone she said.
2 10 a.m. ET There are a total of 172 people confirmed hospitalized with 23 more people en route/to be admitted. At least 24 people are in critical condition and at 38 40 people are in serious condition. Here is the breakdown from each area hospital
Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco Hospital officials said they have more than 100 patients 101 registered but are currently assessing around 20 in triage area and are expecting another wave. They are seeing lots of patients with lacerations orthopedic injuries and a few burns. Nine severely burned patients have been directly sent to Parkland hospital burn center in Dallas. They are reporting no fatalities.
Providence Healthcare Network in Waco Hospital officials said they have treated 58 patients. They are in the process of triaging three. No word yet on whether they will get another wave but are prepared. At least one patient is in critical condition Most of the injuries are moderate broken bones cuts abrasions scrapes respiratory distress most of these injuries were caused by flying glass or people knocked down by the force of the blast according to hospital spokeswoman Heather Beck.
Hill Regional Hospital Unclear
Parkland Hospital in Dallas Hospital officials said they have nine severe burn patients.
Scott White Memorial in Temple Hospital officials said they received four patients three at Scott White Memorial Hospital and one at McLane Children s Hospital. Another patient is in route to McLane Children s. At least two of the four patients are listed in critical condition at this time.
The Blood Donation Center will stay open until 2 30 a.m. to allow residents to come in and donate. The donors can get to the Blood Donation Center by coming in the main hospital entrance at 2401 S. 31st Street Temple.
Andy Bartee/AP Photo
2 03 a.m. ET ABC News Steve Osunsami is at a triage center in West Texas As we drove into town we ran into firefighters who were getting gassed up outside of town who tell us the fire is still burning. It s under control. But it s still burning.
1 43 a.m. ET West Mayor Tommy Muska said in a news conference said they are concerned about the wind which they expect to change direction about 3 a.m.
Muska told residents to stay in inside because of the hydrous gas that is still in the air.
1 25 a.m. ET The explosion registered as 2.1 magnitude quake according the USGS. Residents about 30 miles away in the town of Buffford told ABC News that they felt the quake.
AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald Rod Aydelotte
1 21 a.m. ET VIDEO Homes and business were completely destroyed around the West Texas fertilizer plant.
1 09 a.m. ET Texas Department of Public Safety trooper D.L. Wilson said in a short news conference that there are more than 100 injuries with fatalities confirmed but did not specify how many deaths. Officials are searching for more people and are doing a house by house search. About 133 people were evacuated from a nursing home. About half the town has been evacuated. Between 50 75 buildings were destroyed or damaged.
Massive. Just like Iraq. Just like the Murray Building in Oklahoma City So you can imagine what kind of damage we re looking at Wilson said in describing the blast.
12 53 a.m. ET Blood drives are planned for Thursday in Texas. Linda Goelzer of Carter Blood Care the primary blood support service supporting more 58 counties largest blood provider in Texas told ABC News the people in the community of West are heart of gold people like a Norman Rockwell painting.
The whole town is being evacuated. We had our blood supply pretty well stocked in Waco as of today but now we are sending more than 300 units of blood from Dallas Fort Worth down to Waco that s where patients are going. Many are being care flighted to Parkland Hospital in Dallas for treatment at their burn center Goelzer said.
Tonight our message to our donors is don t everybody come at once we will have patients for who knows how long who will be needing blood. Especially O negative are needed universal donor will likely be expended tonight. What we tell people is that the blood helping people tonight is what s already on the shelves. What we ll need most is for consistency. We have blood drives everyday and we will have them tomorrow we just don t want people flooding in in droves like they did after 9/11. We re asking our regular donors to keep coming throughout the week because we expect there will be many survivors.
12 33 a.m. ET At least 124 people hospitalized with one hospital telling us that 20 more are on the way. Of those 38 considered serious.
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth/The Dallas Morning News
12 19 a.m. ET According to the CEO of the Providence Healthcare Network Brett Esrock (in Waco) says officials are triaging the wounded. Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center has treated or is treating 29 wounded mostly minor to moderate injuries cuts abrasions broken bones respiratory distress and one critical injury. Hospital officials are being told they are about to receive an additional 20 patients they are coming in ambulances cars vans pretty much anything. Other wounded people are also being sent to Hillsboro Regional Hospital which has apparently received another 60 patients. Matt Gutman
11 48 p.m. ET West City Hall suffered significant damage according to Gail Scarborough with Texas Department of Public Safety. The middle school also caught on fire due to a gas leak in the building.
11 00 p.m. ET Texas Gov. Rick Perry released the following statement on the explosion in West Texas We are monitoring developments and gathering information as details continue to emerge about this incident. We have also mobilized state resources to help local authorities. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of West and the first responders on the scene.
9 33 p.m. ET According to a dispatcher at Texas Department of Public Safety there were two explosions and a fire reported at a Fertilizer Plant in the town of West Texas.