|Lawmakers Vow to Ease Suffering From Texas Blast|
|By CHRIS GOOD (@c_good) and MARY BRUCE (@marykbruce)||Apr 18, 2013, 10:54 AM|
President Obama and lawmakers in Washington, D.C., expressed their condolences today after the devastating explosion in West, Texas, pledging federal resources to help.
"Today our prayers go out to the people of West, Texas, in the aftermath of last night's deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant," Obama said in a written statement released to reporters. "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," Obama added.
Obama called Texas Gov. Rick Perry to offer any federal resources needed to aide in response-and-recovery efforts, a White House official told ABC.
LIVE UPDATES: Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion
Texas' two Republican senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, released a joint statement thanking first responders and pledging any support they can offer.
"We are deeply saddened to learn of the horrific explosion in West, Texas," they said. "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."
On the Senate floor, Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered sympathy for Texas victims and called it a "difficult week," after the attacks in Boston.
"I offer my condolences to those who lost loved ones and who have people who are wounded and injure," Reid, D-Nev., said. "I'm going to do everything I can with my colleagues to ensure that this terrible tragedy has the resources of the federal government available to help the people of that city as they recover from this tragedy."
McConnell, R-Ky., said, "From the media reports we've seen, there have clearly been a great many injuries, and a terrible loss of life. We're all thinking of and praying for the victims and their families. Given the horrendous event at the Boston marathon on Monday, followed by the event near Waco last night. It's been a difficult week for all of us. Our hearts are a little bit heavier."
ABC News' Sunlen Miller contributed to this report