(WASHINGTON) — Senators reacted Thursday morning to the deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, sending along their sympathies and assurances of resources to help.
“I offer my condolences to those who lost loved ones and who have people who are wounded and injure,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said on the Senate floor Thursday morning. “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.”
Wednesday’s blast sent at least 180 people to hospitals and authorities fear that five to 15 people could be dead.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY., said the loss of life in the explosion caps an already difficult week.
“We’re all thinking of and praying for the victims and their families,” McConnell said. “Given the horrendous event at the Boston Marathon on Monday, followed by the event near Waco last night, it’s been a very difficult week for all of us. Our hearts are a little bit heavier.”
Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn said he has been staying updated on the situation and asked for prayers for his state.
“We of course grieve for those who have loved their lives, and we pray for those who were injured and still missing. So I ask that all Americans keep the people of west, Texas, in their thoughts and prayers, “ Cornyn said.
President Obama, meanwhile, issued a statement Thursday on the explosion, thanking “first responders who worked tirelessly through the night to contain the situation and treat the wounded.”
“My Administration, through FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] 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,” the president added.
Obama, who is in Boston Thursday to speak at an interfaith service in the wake of Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing that left three people dead and more than 170 others injured, also called Texas Gov. Rick Perry aboard Air Force One to tell him that his prayers are with the people of West, according to a White House official.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN