Evacuated elderly find new home together after Texas blast

Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:17pm EDT
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By Karen Brooks

WACO, Texas (Reuters) - Edith Nors, 87, has no hearing aid, no glasses and no dentures.

All three are buried under the rubble at her former nursing home in West, Texas, destroyed when a nearby fertilizer plant exploded on Wednesday.

What Nors does have is her life and a new home at The Atrium Skilled Nursing and Rehab in nearby Waco, which has taken in about 25 evacuees from the destroyed West Rest Haven and is expecting a dozen more.

The Atrium's response is one of the good-news stories that came from the explosion. The site took in dozens of victims, reuniting roommates and working through the nights to piece together medication lists and tend to the well-being of West's most vulnerable residents.

"It's not her home, but it's a good alternative," said Nors' daughter, Ann Janeke.

The West Fertilizer Plant near the West Rest Haven nursing home in West, about 20 miles north of Waco, blew up on Wednesday night. The blast killed 14 people, injured 200 and devastated some 75 buildings.

Officials in the town were making plans on Saturday to let residents return to their homes in parts of town blocked off since the explosion.

The blast displaced more than 100 elderly residents from the West Rest Haven, according to estimates in the local media.   Continued...

Destroyed homes are seen near the scene of a fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, near Waco, Texas April 20, 2013. REUTERS/Adrees Latif