Officials in Texas say 14 bodies have been recovered in the area near a fertiliser plant where a huge explosion took place.
The blast on Wednesday destroyed dozens of buildings in the town of West, the BBC reports.
Texas US Senator John Cornyn said some 60 people were thought to still be missing, but stressed the number was expected to come down as search and rescue efforts continued.
The authorities say about 200 people were injured.
Earlier, the town's mayor said he believed four firefighters who attended the original fire were among the dead, though this has not been confirmed.
Investigators were still looking for clues as to what may have caused the blast, officials said on Friday.
There was no indication that the blast and a fire which preceded it were anything other than industrial accidents, according to police.