Texas governor: Plant explosion a 'nightmare scenario'

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling the deadly fertilizer plant explosion in his state "a truly nightmare scenario."

Perry says he'll request a disaster declaration from the president. That would allow Texas to receive federal assistance in the clean-up and recovery process.

Authorities have said as many as 15 people are feared dead and more than 160 others were injured in the explosion that leveled homes and businesses in the farming community of West, Texas.

Perry emphasized during a Thursday morning news conference that much of the information about victims still is "very preliminary."

Daylight revealed the devastation caused by the explosion. Smoke was still rising from the building in the small town of West.

Witnesses say the explosion was so powerful it shook the ground like a small earthquake and could be heard several miles away.

Rescue crews are still searching for survivors.

Officials say while the explosion will initially be investigated as a crime event, there is no indication the blast was anything other than an industrial accident.