Pope Francis celebrates a Mass in St. Paul Outside the Walls Basilica in Rome, Sunday, April 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Public officials, celebrities, and religious leaders sent messages of support to the community of West after a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant.
President Barack Obama released the following statement on the explosion in West, TX:
Today our prayers go out to the people of West, Texas in the aftermath of last night's deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant. A tight-knit community has been shaken, and good, hard-working people have lost their lives. I want to thank the first responders who worked tirelessly through the night to contain the situation and treat the wounded. My Administration, through FEMA and other agencies, is in close contact with our state and local partners on the ground to make sure there are no unmet needs as search and rescue and response operations continue. West is a town that many Texans hold near and dear to their hearts, and as residents continue to respond to this tragedy, they will have the support of the American people.
Gov. Rick Perry today released the following statement regarding the incident in West:
"We are monitoring developments and gathering information as details continue to emerge about this incident. We have also mobilized state resources to help local authorities. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of West, and the first responders on the scene."
Perry is expected to make a public statement Thursday at 11:45 a.m. in Austin.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) issued the following statement after learning of the explosion in West, TX.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the horrific explosion in West, Texas. We grieve for those who are injured and have lost loved ones, and are grateful to the firefighters and first responders who risked their own lives to keep others safe. Today we ask all Texans to keep West in their thoughts and prayers. We remain in communication with Gov. Perry's office and emergency management officials, and stand to offer whatever support we can.”
Congressman Marc Veasey released the following statement following last night’s explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas:
“Last night’s explosion in West is truly saddening and a terrible tragedy. As Congressman of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, my heart goes out to our neighbors only a few miles south of the 33rd Congressional District. A ground team of police and fire departments, federal agencies, first responders, and numerous agencies have been working hard around the clock to assist those in the area. Let us keep the victims and their families in our thoughts and prayers.”
Singer-songwriter Willie Nelson grew up in the nearby town of Abbott. Some West residents are being housed in temporary shelters in that community. Nelson tweeted:
West has been in my backyard all my life.My heart is praying for thecommunity that we call home. #westtx
— Willie Nelson (@willienelson) April 18, 2013
Pope Francis sent the following tweet showing support for the Texas community:
Please join me in praying for the victims of the explosion in Texas and their families.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 18, 2013
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings shared his thoughts via Twitter:
Thinking of our neighbors down the road in West, TX.Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
— Mayor Mike Rawlings (@Mike_Rawlings) April 18, 2013