Texas blast: Obama steps in

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TEXAS: Smoke rises in the distance about half a mile from the West Fertilizer Company April 18, 2013 in West, Texas. A massive explosion at the fertilizer company injured more than 100 people and left buildings damaged. Picture:

Washington - President Barack Obama has issued an emergency declaration and pledged disaster relief aid to Texas to help in the recovery efforts following this week's deadly fertiliser plant explosion near Waco.

Obama's order on Friday night authorises the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts in the town of West. Wednesday's explosion at the West Fertilizer plant killed at least 14 people, injured more than 200 others and demolished buildings for blocks around.

After addressing the arrest of the second Boston Marathon bombing suspect on Friday night, the president extended his sympathies to the community of West and everyone else affected by the explosion.

Obama said he's spoken with Texas Governor Rick Perry and West's mayor, and he pledged that the community will have the resources it needs to rebuild.

-Sapa

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