Survivor recounts close encounter with West plant explosion - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Survivor recounts close encounter with West plant explosion

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16-year-old Devon McFarlin was standing in a pasture across from the fertilizer plant when the explosion happened.

"We were about 150 yards from the building in a field," McFarlin said.

He and his friend could see the smoke. They said that even though they were more than a football field away, they felt the rock of the explosion.

"It just blew up," McFarlin said. "We got thrown into the air. Once we hit the ground, we took off running. All this metal and wood was flying past us and hitting the ground. We ended up running for I don't know how long."

McFarlin says as he ran, homes were burning to the ground around him. He says he was fortunate enough to find West residents who took him to safety and asks for the public to help.

"If they could donate anything, please," McFarlin said. "A lot of people lost their homes and every possession they've had. They don't have much right now. They are pretty devastated." 

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