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Church In West Held In Field, Pastor On Flatbed

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166874173 Church In West Held In Field, Pastor On FlatbedExplosion Details

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A road is closed leading to the neighborhood near the blast-affected area in West, Texas on April 18, 2013. Rescuers in Texas combed through rubble in a painstaking search for survivors after the massive blast at a fertilizer plant killed as many as 15 people and destroyed dozens of homes the night before.  AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN        (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

A road is closed leading to the neighborhood near the blast-affected area in West, Texas on April 18, 2013. (Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

WEST (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — With its building blocked off due to a massive fertilizer blast, a church in a rural Texas town is holding Sunday worship in a hayfield.

Families and firefighters in tiny West packed church services on the first Sunday since the West Fertilizer Co. exploded in a giant fireball this week.

First Baptist Church remains in a barricaded area where the damage and rubble are most pronounced. So Pastor John Crowder set up folding chairs in a field and delivered his sermon from the flatbed of a pickup truck.

On Saturday, safety concerns prevented some residents from returning to their homes. Officials revealed that tanks at the site of the explosion were leaking gas and causing small fires.

Many residents with residences in areas less damaged by Wednesday’s deadly explosion were allowed to return for the first time Saturday after state investigators moved the outer perimeter about four blocks.

Authorities say they still don’t know what caused Wednesday night’s blast. At least 14 people are dead, with more than 200 injured.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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