WACO, Texas - Hospitals treated close to 200 patients after a plant explosion leveled a small town about 19 miles north of the city on Wednesday night.
Most of the patients were sent to Hilcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco to be treated for severe cuts, blood loss and serious burns. Now doctors say there is a call for blood donors -- a call that appears the community is answering.
Even a rainstorm could not keep people from trying to help as hundreds lined up around a corner to donate blood.
“There's people we know that are missing, so we are doing the only thing we can do right now is try to contribute some way,” Shawn Rejcek, who donated blood, said.
Many who packed the lobby of a local blood bank feel helpless -- they still have not heard from family and friends in West.
“It's about all I can do. We can't go up there. We can't do anything...,” David Gray, who also donated blood, said.
The blood is making a difference -- Hilcrest Baptist sent out an urgent request for donors after treating more than a hundred patients from the explosion. Nearly 30 remain in serious condition. Some victims were allowed to go home, but have no homes to go to.
“We did lose our house and a couple cars, but we are thankful to have each other,” one West resident said.
In Waco, complete strangers brought food, clothing and supplies hoping to help families touched by this tragedy.
“They lost everything. I always put myself in other people's shoes, it could have been us, and if it was us, I want other people to do the same for us,” Terronica Crosby, a Waco resident, said.