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Hundreds In West Seek FEMA Help Since Plant Blast

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166874173 Hundreds In West Seek FEMA Help Since Plant BlastExplosion Details

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166874171 Hundreds In West Seek FEMA Help Since Plant BlastFull Coverage

West Plant Explosion (credit: Getty Images)

West Plant Explosion (credit: Getty Images)

WEST (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Nearly 800 people have sought Federal Emergency Management Agency help since a deadly fertilizer plant explosion decimated a Central Texas town.

FEMA on Thursday said the agency, the state and the Small Business Administration have approved more than $6.5 million in grants and loans since the April 17 blast in West.

The fiery explosion claimed 15 lives and left about 200 people hurt. Officials say about 200 homes in West were damaged or destroyed.

♦♦♦ Click For Comprehensive Coverage of the West Fertilizer Plant Explosion ♦♦♦

Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin L. Hannes of FEMA said, “The recovery process is stressful for those who suffered great losses, and we want to make sure all survivors get the maximum assistance they are eligible to receive.”

The disaster-assistance money has gone to eligible individuals and families in McLennan County. FEMA also says the 764 applicants who’ve registered so far will be receiving follow-up phone calls to help identify any pending needs.

Survivors of the plant explosion in West are encouraged to register with FEMA. Click here to register online or call 800-621-FEMA (3362). Phone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. The registration deadline for FEMA assistance is June 18.

West is a town of about 2,800 located 70 miles south of Fort Worth.

(©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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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