Fertilizer plant explosion levels several blocks of small Texas town

In West, Children Face Tough Time After Blast

3-year-old girl says, 'Hurry, hurry' into toy phone

By Scott Gordon
|  Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013  |  Updated 12:01 AM CDT
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Shannon Soto says her daughter is terrified after last week's massive fertilizer plant explosion in West.

Scott Gordon, NBC 5 News

Shannon Soto says her daughter is terrified after last week's massive fertilizer plant explosion in West.

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Five days after a mammoth explosion rocked West, 3-year-old Angelica Soto can't sleep by herself, is afraid to step outside and jumps at the smallest noise.

"Our daughter is terrified," said her mother, Shannon. "She actually carries her little toy cellphone around talks about it on the phone. She'll say, 'Hurry, hurry, we need (help).'"

Shannon Soto was the first to call 911 after the explosion at the West Fertilizer Co., which is about a mile-and-a-half from their home off Interstate 35.

In a recording of the call, Soto's tense voice captured the urgency of the moment.

"Our house, our windows, everything -- it sounded like a bomb, and I'm looking outside and there's like a bomb on 35," she said. "I don't know what's going on."

Soto said her entire house shook. Framed pictures on the wall remain askew. Inspectors haven't yet looked at several cracks in the ceiling.

But Soto said the emotional damage may be harder to repair.

"I'm scared," Angelica said.

Her mother said she may need professional counseling.

It's part of the tragedy's emotional toll that is harder to measure than the physical damage.

Soto said she is grateful the destruction isn't worse, adding that her thoughts are with the families of the first responders who lost their lives.

"People gave their lives to protect us," she said. "We'll never forget that."


West Fertilizer Plant Explosion
Complete coverage of a massive fertilizer plant explosion that leveled blocks of the small Texas town of West, TX. Click here for more.

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