Officials said Friday that the bodies of 12 people have been recovered from the wreckage of a fertilizer plant that caught fire and exploded in the town of West, Texas on Wednesday. According to the Associated Press, about 200 other people were injured in the blast, which took place Wednesday evening.
Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Jason Reyes confirmed that the bodies were recovered, telling reporters that it was "with a heavy heart" that he delivered the news. Reyes said he could not confirm whether first responders were among the dead.
West resident Christina Rodarte, 46, said that the town of less than 3,000 has already begun to grieve.
“We know everyone that was there first, in the beginning,” she told the AP. "There’s no words for it. It is a small community, and everyone knows the first responders, because anytime there’s anything going on, the fire department is right there, all volunteer.”
Search and rescue operations will continue throughout Friday and the weekend.