TODAY   |  April 20, 2013

Death toll rises in Texas tragedy

Investigators have searched nearly the entire area rocked by the fertilizer plant blast in West, Texas, which killed 14 people. The fertilizer company’s owner has spoken out, saying in a statement that he pledges to do everything he can to “ensure nothing like this ever happens again in any community.” NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> this weekend the town of west, texas, is assessing the damage more than two days after the blast that changed everything. about 50 homes destroyed, officially the death poll now stands at 14 including five firefighters and four emergency medics.

>> this volunteer fire department basically was wiped out here.

>> among the dead, volunteer firefighter , perry calvin, kenny harris and 96-year-old adolph lander who was inside a heavily damaged nursing home . he survived the explosion but then his heart gave out.

>> my dad died when i was 3 months old so he was the father figure in my life.

>> the facility stored and distributed anhydrous ammonia. in a written statement, the company's owner says one employee died in the fire and we pledge to do everything we can to understand what happened to ensure nothing like this ever happens again in any community. this community is still in mourning but perhaps closer than ever.

>> for the people that lost their homes, they are somebody and the community is aware of the struggle they've gone