The bodies of 12 people have been recovered from the site of the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, officials said on Friday.

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Jason Reyes said during a press conference that it was "with a heavy heart" that he reported 12 bodies had been recovered. Identities were not immediately released, but it was believed that firefighters and first-responders were among those killed in the blast. About 200 others were injured in the explosion.

Reyes said at least 50 homes were destroyed in the blast and that 25 homes still had to be cleared.

Rescue crews have been searching the town, located about 20 miles north of Waco, for survivors since Wednesday night's blast. CBS News reported that a four-to-five-block area of the town was leveled by the explosion.

Members of the 2,800-person community gathered Thursday night at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church for a service.

Rev. Ed Karasek said that the town "will never be the same, but we will persevere. Our hearts are hurting, our hearts are broken."

Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images