WEST (CBSDFW.COM) –  At a news conference shortly before noon Thursday, Gov. Rick Perry announced he had requested an emergency declaration for McLennan County, where West is located. He is in West monitoring developments and gathering information as details continue to emerge about the tragic incident.

“Last night was truly a nightmare,” Perry said. “This tragedy has most likely hit every family and touched practically everyone in that town.”

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He has mobilized state resources to help local authorities. They will remain in West as long as they are needed, according to Perry, who said Texas Task Force 1 and 2 and the Texas National Guard are still conducting search and rescue in the area. Pipelines are also being monitored closely.

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Perry praised emergency responders, the out pouring of community support and courage of citizens who quickly reacted to help victims. He also thanked President Obama who called from Air Force One on his way to Boston.

“We appreciate his support and offers of prayers.”

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