Submitted by ub on Thu, 04/18/2013 - 10:12

Emergency crews in West, Texas have been searching through the night for any survivors, or victims of last night's explosion. Estimates are that between five and 15 people have been killed.

Authorities say they are still conducting a search and rescue operation. This morning the scope of the small town's devastation came into fuller view: a huge explosion that is a gruesome, bloody scene, with homes flattened to rubble, and scores of firefighters battling a raging blaze.

This massive, deadly blast at a fertilizer plant forced the evacuation of about half the town of about 2,800 people and left officials asking whether it an accident, or a crime and how could it have occurred? Another question is how high the death toll will rise and how will the bad weather effect first responders and investigators.

PHOTO: Associated Press