West residents return home to assess damage

Curfew in effect in evacuated area

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WEST, Texas - Three days after an explosion at a fertilizer plant left 14 dead and more than 200 injured, a few hundred West residents were allowed to return to their homes Saturday.

Residents living between Walnut Street and Oak Street waited in line for nearly an hour while police officers checked their IDs and marked their vehicles to keep track of who was moving in and out of the evacuated area.

Jim Dougherty returned home with his wife. The outside of their home was intact, but inside, glass and broken furniture littered the floor.

"We are so fortunate that we weren't closer," said Dougherty. "The further you go north the worse it gets."

Those families living within a five block radius of the plant were still not allowed to return home.

City officials imposed a curfew in the evacuated area between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Residents could either stay in their homes or return to their temporary housing.

"There will be no walking around," said West City Council Member Steve Vanek. "If you want to stay at your house at your own risk you can stay there, but you can’t be going to your neighbors."

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