In the days after the blast, officials in nearby school districts put their heads together to come up with a plan to help stranded students in West.
One school district donated 13 buses to drive the kids to Connally Independent School District in Waco, which provided extra classroom space. As the students arrived, teachers shook hands and hugged West students.
To help the West students feel more at home, volunteers worked through the weekend to paint some of the classrooms with West's colors -- yellow and scarlet -- and some Connally students wore red to school, said Wesley Holt, a Connally spokesman.
Back in West, a small town kept trying to cope. Evacuated townspeople began returning home over the weekend. Authorities allowed a second wave to revisit their homes Sunday. The process was going well, said Steve Vanek, West's mayor pro tem. Texas state police were keeping a close watch on cordoned-off areas near the blast site, he said, and a strict curfew is being enforced.
Those returning home to the areas still cordoned found a heavy police presence and numerous checkpoints. Their homes are just as they left them when they were abruptly evacuated out of fears a toxic cloud of gas would engulf the community. Many of the homes have broken windows, and all have a spray-painted "X" on the front door. The "X" shows that officials had searched the homes for victims.
Brothers and friends lost
On Sunday evening, representatives recited prepared remarks from some grieving families.
One speaker said that Doug and Robert Snokhous "were much more than brothers. They were lifelong friends."
The siblings lived a half-mile from each other in West, and both worked at Central Texas Iron Works in Waco. Doug had been there for 30 years; Robert had just reached his 20th year at the company.
"They were always together and we are comforted that they were together in the end," the family said.
The family of volunteer firefighter Jerry Chapman said that "other firemen and women survived because of the action he took."
Chapman wanted to "live on the edge," according to a statement read for reporters, and "his faith in God and fellow firefighters gave him the strength to lay down his life for others."
Chapman "died a hero," his family believes.
An obituary for the Dallas firefighter who lived in West, "Luckey" Harris, said he loved offshore fishing with his sons and spending time on his boat, the "Boots Up." He had been married, the obit says, for 28 years.
CNN is working to confirm the names of others who died.
Also a picture of the injured was beginning to emerge, as some hospital officials released details Monday.
Two patients were still in critical condition at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, officials said.
Thirty-nine patients had been treated and released from Hill Regional Hospital in Hillsboro.
Of the 28 patients admitted to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco, seven remained there Monday.
Five of those patients were in the intensive care unit, officials said.