Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Rescuers Search for Survivors

Search and rescue teams in West, Texas, are looking for the missing among the rubble.
3:00 | 04/18/13

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Transcript for Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Rescuers Search for Survivors
Dozens of residents in west Texas remain unaccounted for tonight one full day after a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant. The blast created a seismic event leveling a large swath of the town and devastating those who live within its bounds. But what caused this mysterious disaster ABC Cecilia Vega with the search for answers as a community begins to pick up the pieces. -- -- The fight here at the fertilizer plant here -- this small town to -- before. Hold. Everybody you can't help lately but don't -- a lot of. 7:29. PM yesterday a fire raged the flames so big so bright. Neighbors pulled out their cameras and hit record then -- and 753. And but one thing that everyone watching. Fear the most. Yeah a father with his daughter right beside him in the car captures it all their voices turned to terror. And the girl herds. In that video is twelve year old Chloe. Her father Derek hurt had stopped at a nearby school when they saw the smoke when he knew was banks -- really don't think there's any ad that the fertilizer depot. Part of this west Texas landscape for more than half a century gone obliterating it. -- -- -- -- -- -- Upon it went up and -- it straight ahead. No actual reportable bomb. But like a scene from a movie eighth pick mushrooms smoke cloud filled the sky. I don't know. -- -- The tremor so large people say they've built it 55 miles a weight. It registered two point one on the richter destroying an entire apartment building. And so many homes including Mike Muller's. He lived just down the street and clearly made it out alive what do you think your house looks like right now. A war zone every window is count. In the house the whole ceilings and the thought -- come off of foundations set -- down the bricks are all off valves. As terrified residents fled the blasts own a small team of firefighters -- into the heart of it many of them volunteers who grew up right here. I felt the house move and then I heard the actual explosion. My jumped up immediately. Went to the front door I looked out and I saw the huge -- and so I told my wife and everybody else hey we gotta go now. Within -- to emergency workers were killed at least five firefighters missing now flags at the station fly at half staff. Three people do you think you know who. -- hurt it last. -- -- -- -- And -- Among those who never made it out Dallas fire rescue captain Kenny Harris this wasn't even his jurisdiction. He just wanted to help. Neighbors say that's just how folks from these parts are. It's just been an effective campaign ye hear all these people how they make it's just heartbreaking and don't he got into the permanent. -- says. It's just very -- I mean I have very end here I have relatives still on the -- it's even you know when he needed to have to do -- that's why I'm here just to see if there even a lot. The bandages on George Smith's face are still fresh. He heard about the fire and immediately raced to the nursing home across the street from the plant he and his fellow first responders busted into the building. Rounding up one senior after the next. And the next thing I never heard a big explosion. And I were found on my faith and when who've been. And everything phone and on -- I had to dig myself out I feel blessed that you're from people alive now that would mean. In all more than 160. Injured as many as fifteen dead. More than 35 still missing investigators still aren't sure what caused the explosion. Chemicals reacting perhaps they also haven't ruled out -- crying. -- way -- early in the investigation. To speculate on causes. What -- next. And what about the timing. He really twenty years to -- day -- branch Davidian cult in nearby Waco came to a fiery end after federal agents attacked their compound. Now destruction again in America's heartland this time of a different kind. The blast knocked -- and they'll go right out of his chair and -- -- his living room floor. His windows blown out his metal garage door twisted. It's all of this I'm not collapsed. Broken glass everywhere and windows -- Everything on the. Tonight it's not just the streets of west Texas that are battered and bruised. So too are its residents. This morning when you look around -- all this last school they're storing your mom's house in your car. What do you make moment -- devastation. We're gonna rebuild. We're -- community here -- could. Sure but. And we will rebuild. -- for Nightline I'm Cecilia Vega in west Texas.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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