After the deadly Texas explosion near Waco in West last night, authorities have confirmed that looting has been reported in the evacuated areas surrounding the blast.
An early press conference Thursday covered the latest information cleared for release following the Texas explosion, and reports of looting were confirmed by law enforcement in the hours after the blast.
Waco Police Department spokespeople are being very circumspect regarding the scope of the disaster, and names of those who have died in the blast or were counted as missing have not been released.
At the conference this morning, law enforcement officials confirm that, as of now, five to 15 people are confirmed dead, and the operations on the ground are focused on search and rescue rather than search and recovery.
Looting reports stem from the initial hours after the Texas explosion, and officials say areas may be shut down to prevent further incidents of looting. No arrests were reported, and specifics on the looting reports were not given.
Waco PD reports the town of West is “secure” following the blast and that three to four hundred officials are at the site working to investigate the causes of the blast as well as to locate possible survivors of the Texas blast.
The press conference about the Texas explosion concluded shortly after 9:40 am EST, with indications that updates would be given to the media as they become available.
Reports of looting in Texas were not fully detailed, and it is not currently clear whether there were several incidents or simply confusion following the blast in which activity related to evacuation appeared to be looting.
Police confirmed at the press event that firefighters are still missing on the scene of the West, Texas explosion.
Our thoughts are with emergency responders and medical staff working the West, TX disaster.
— Boston EMS (@BOSTON_EMS) April 18, 2013