WEST (CBSDFW.COM) - Despite reports of several generous Texans opening their doors to help out victims of Wednesday’s deadly explosion at West Fertilizer Company, there have been a few people walking the opposite path.
In a series of news conferences early Thursday morning, police stated that there have been reports of looting at the homes which were destroyed by the blast.
“There has been a small amount of looting,” stated Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton with the Waco Police Department. “We are securing that neighborhood the best we can.”
Swanton later confirmed at least one incident from early Wednesday night. He was unsure about the nature of the looting or how many individuals were involved, but said that he was not aware of any arrests. “Whether they’re going into homes or just pilfering off the street, things maybe they’re finding, I don’t know,” Swanton said.
“It was an isolated incident,” Swanton added. “It was something they dealt with, and it is very secure in the neighborhoods now. Homes are secure.”
A massive explosion at the fertilizer plant in West killed as many as 15 people and left more than 160 others injured. Rescue crews are still searching through the debris for survivors, including emergency officials who are missing.
West resident Jens Hasse had his home damaged by the blast — many of the windows were blown out. He and his wife were not injured, and elected to stay put while most others evacuated. He suspected that there might be some looters. “Me and a neighbor two doors down are the only ones who spent the night,” he said. “I didn’t want to leave my house. It’s wide open. I didn’t want to leave it unattended.”
However, police were determined to stop criminals from taking advantage of this tragic situation. “This is a community,” Swanton said, “that we’re going to do our absolute best to protect.”
Hasse and other residents did their best to help out, too. “I thought I’d keep an eye on everybody else’s house,” he said. “I didn’t see anybody down there fooling around.”
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