"Today our prayers go out to the people of West, Texas in the aftermath of last night’s deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant," President Barack Obama said in a statement released Thursday morning. "A tight-knit community has been shaken, and good, hard-working people have lost their lives.
"I want to thank the first responders who worked tirelessly through the night to contain the situation and treat the wounded," he said. "My Administration, through FEMA and other agencies, is in close contact with our state and local partners on the ground to make sure there are no unmet needs as search and rescue and response operations continue.
"West is a town that many Texans hold near and dear to their hearts, and as residents continue to respond to this tragedy, they will have the support of the American people."
-- Anna M. Tinsley