The Texas Department of Public Safety and Attorney General Greg Abbott conducted a flyover and a ground examination of the damage caused by the explosion in West.
In a press conference held at 6 p.m., Abbott said, “the area along the site is total devastation.”
Abbott described the destruction. He said on one side of the explosion lies a big field which did not suffer much damage. On the other side, railroad tracks were “practically fused together.”
A playground on the other side of the railroad tracks was destroyed.
He described homes close to the blast as blown apart and blown over.
“It was very disturbing to see the site,” Abbott said. “At the time the explosion took place, people sat around the dinner table. At that time, their lives are instantaneously changed.”
Two nearby schools also sustained heavy damage. He said one school’s gymnasium was caved in and another school, which he said he couldn’t identify as a middle school or an elementary school, was damaged beyond recognition.
“Had this explosion taken place during school hours, there would have been mass devastation of children,” Abbott said.
Abbott said he also saw hope.
“You can see hope in the eyes of the rescue workers,” Abbott said. “These rescue workers are so dedicated to what they’re doing just like the first responders, EMS.”
While Abbott could not provide more details regarding the number of people injured or the number of fatalities, he did say the community is already progressing.
“You can see already the beginnings of the community working to piece itself back together,” Abbott said.