Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

April 18, 2013

WEST EXPLOSION: ‘All you could see was red and blue’

Editor's note: Sharing a story from our sister publication in Cleburne

WEST — Audrey Todd was visiting her mother in Ross — about 10 minutes away from her home in West — around 8 p.m. Wednesday when she received a call from a neighbor.

“She told me, one of the plants has blow up,” Todd said. “The whole town of West is on fire.”

Speaking by phone from her job in Waco on Thursday, Todd said her home escaped damage in the initial blast. But her initial relief evaporated amid news reports that authorities fear a second tank inside the still-burning plant site could explode.

“Last night, the wind was blowing away from my house. But today, the wind has shifted. If that second tank explodes, my house will be destroyed,” Todd said. “That tank was already seeping last night. They were trying to control it but I hear that they are saying today that they are afraid it will explode. If that one blows, it will take the rest of West with it. There won’t be anything left.”

Todd said when she got the call from her neighbor, she immediately headed for her own home in West, forced to take back roads because main thoroughfares were all blocked. She was determined to try and rescue as much as she could from her house in the event the fire moved her way.

“It was horrible,” Todd said. “You could see the flames and smell the fumes. There were ambulances everywhere, sirens blaring.”

When she loaded her belongings and was driving to safety, she drove over an overpass crossing Interstate 35W and was struck by the sight of first responders pouring into town.

“All you could see was a sea of red and blue,” Todd said. “There were fire trucks and cops and ambulances and motorcycles — every kind of [emergency vehicle] you can think off, all headed to West. Five counties came to help.”

Every road into the area was flooded, vehicles packed bumper to bumper with first responders and emergency vehicles headed into West, and residents and visitors headed out, trying to escape the devastation.

Todd said after she left her house, she went to the auction barn in West — the place where media were gathering along with police, firefighters and other first responders who needed something to eat or drink.

“I went there to help out, to get tea and stuff for the firemen and the police officers who needed it,” she said. “At one point, I was sitting outside in the parking lot and I saw this guy pacing back and forth. We thought he might be hurt, so we went and asked him. He told us he had a video of the explosion, and he said his two daughters were still in West. He was trying to get to them, but he couldn’t get in. I don’t know what happened, if he ever found them.”

Todd said Thursday morning authorities had the area on lockdown, not allowing anyone but emergency response personnel to enter the area.

“They are only letting in the EMS workers, the cops, the firemen. Just them and the Red Cross,” she said. “They are afraid that second tank is going to blow, and they are making everyone leave. I don’t know what’s going to happen now.”


The Cleburne Times Review is a sister publication of the Daily Sun.

Text Only
Latest News
  • 7-31-14 Fire2.jpg Deputies, fire departments have busy weekend

    An attempt to bootleg electricity off a pole using jumper cables is believed to have caused a building fire that took out a former restaurant in Angus Friday morning, one of a series of calls to Navarro County Sheriff’s Office to the southern end of the county over the weekend.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-31-14 Rice ISD Alex Stough mug.jpg Rice students win UIL scholarships

    Three Rice High School students received UIL scholarships for competing in academic competitions at the state level, according to advisor Alan Lewis.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • 7-31-14 Collin Main signal.jpg Signal finally fixed

    It took a couple of months to get the parts, but the signal light at Main and Collin streets in downtown Corsicana is finally up and working again.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • A more vigorous US economy appears to be emerging

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy has rebounded with vigor from a grim start to 2014 and should show renewed strength into next year.

    July 30, 2014

  • Poll: Americans cool to border-crossing children

    SAN DIEGO — Americans are wary of granting refugee status to children crossing the U.S. border to flee strife-torn countries in Central America, and most in an Associated Press-GfK poll say the U.S. does not have a moral obligation to accept asylum seekers generally.

    July 30, 2014

  • 7-30-14 4-H robotics.jpg Science made simple

    Hats out of old newspaper and leftover wrapping paper, simple robots out of popsicle sticks, rubber bands and pencil erasers, a microcosm of the aquifer made of root beer and ice cream — with a dollop of chocolate syrup. These were among the fun science projects at Tuesday’s 4-H Discovery Days event at the Navarro County Youth Expo.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • County: No increase in city subsidies

    As budget talks continue at the Navarro County Courthouse, one consensus that’s been reached will impact budget planning at the Corsicana Government Center.

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-30-14 AthensFire.jpg Senate report finds fault with government inspection of chemical facilities

    WASHINGTON — The government has failed to inspect virtually all of the chemical facilities that it considers to be at a higher risk for a terror attack and has underestimated the threat to densely populated cities, congressional investigators say.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-30-14 Club-Rotary gov.jpg Club News

    News and announcements submitted by clubs and organizations throughout Navarro County.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Beat 7/30/14

    A listing of meetings and events of interest from throughout Navarro County.

    July 29, 2014