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ATF sends team to plant explosion site

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Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 8:06 am | Updated: 9:31 am, Thu Apr 18, 2013.

WEST, Texas — The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is sending a national response scene to the site of a massive fertilizer plant explosion.

ATF spokeswoman Franceska Perot said Thursday that agency specialists were on their way to West, where a fertilizer plant exploded Wednesday night. Police said Thursday that they believed 5 to 15 people to be dead, with more than 160 hurt.

The team includes fire investigators, explosives experts, chemists, and canine units.

Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton says police are treating the explosion site as a crime scene strictly out of caution.

Perot says the site is still too hot to investigate, as recovery is ongoing. She says the ATF team should be in place by Thursday afternoon.

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