An explosion ripped through a fertilizer plant Wednesday night in West Texas, causing dozens of injuries, officials said.
A hospital in Waco, Texas, has been told to anticipate 100 injured people coming in from the fertilizer plant area, an official at the medical facility said. Glenn Robinson, CEO of Hillcrest Hospital, said a field triage station was being set up on a football field near the plant some 18 miles north of Waco after the Wednesday night explosion.
"We have had a steady flow of patients coming in by ambulance as well as by private vehicles," Robinson told CNN's Anderson Cooper. He said more than a dozen injured people had been brought in by ambulances and "more than 20 -- that number is continuing to climb -- by private vehicle."
A photo after the explosion -- which reportedly happened around 7:50 p.m. (8:50 p.m. ET) -- showed a huge plume of smoke rising high into the air.
The West Fertilizer Plant is located just north of Waco. A school and a nursing home are among the buildings near the plant, CNN affiliate KWTX reported.
Senator Brian Birdwell said he was aware of the explosion and trying to get more information, a spokesman said.
"I stand ready to assist with any and all state resources that might aid the affected area," Birdwell said in a written statement.
Tommy Alford, who works in a convenience store about three miles from the plant, told CNN that several volunteer firefighters were at the store when they spotted smoke.
Alford said the firefighters headed toward the scene and then between five and 10 minutes later, he heard a massive explosion.
Hazardous material teams were being rushed to the scene, an emergency management official said.