An explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, TX has killed at least 15 people and critically injured more than 40.

The blast occurred shortly after the plant caught fire somewhere between 6:30 and 7 p.m.

"It blew my hat off," said West Mayor Tommy Muska, who was about a block away from the explosion. "Then I heard it. I felt it before I heard it. It blew my rear view mirror off my glass. It was a very powerful explosion."

Several buildings have also been destroyed in the blast, including an apartment building and over 5000 homes, according to officials. KWTX-TV reports that a nursing home and a school have also sustained significant damage.

"We need your prayers," Muska told CNN. "There are a lot of people who got hurt … a lot of people won't be here tomorrow."

"This is a very strong community. We will bounce back. This is the most devastating thing that has happened to this town."

West is located nearly 20 miles north of Waco.

A local resident made this video shortly before the explosion. We warn you that it may be disturbing to some viewers.