Children Face Tough Time after West Blast

Published 04/23 2013 12:38PM

Updated 04/23 2013 12:43PM


Five days after a mammoth explosion rocked West, 3-year-old Angelica Soto can't sleep by herself, is afraid to step outside and jumps at the smallest noise.

"Our daughter is terrified," said her mother, Shannon. "She actually carries her little toy cellphone around talks about it on the phone. She'll say, 'Hurry, hurry, we need (help).'"

Shannon Soto was the first to call 911 after the explosion at the West Fertilizer Co., which is about a mile-and-a-half from their home off Interstate 35.

In a recording of the call, Soto's tense voice captured the urgency of the moment.

"Our house, our windows, everything -- it sounded like a bomb, and I'm looking outside and there's like a bomb on 35," she said. "I don't know what's going on."

Soto said her entire house shook. Framed pictures on the wall remain askew. Inspectors haven't yet looked at several cracks in the ceiling.

But Soto said the emotional damage may be harder to repair.

"I'm scared," Angelica said.

Her mother said she may need professional counseling.

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