To Date, Two Workers Have Passed Away from Corrigan Plant Explosion, HOUSTON, June 9, 2014 - 58 year old Kenneth Morris of Lufkin passed away on Friday June 6 at Hermann Hospital in Houston his family announced. Morris' funeral service is to be held today (June 9th) in Lufkin. Morris is the second worker to pass away from injuries sustained in the April 26th explosion at the Georgia Pacific plywood mill in Corrigan. 56 year old Charles Wayne Kovar, of Moscow, passed away on May 30th. A total of seven men were injured during the explosion. Three were transported by ambulance to Lufkin and later released while four men (including Morris and Kovar) were flown to Houston in critical condition. The other two that were flown were Jimmy Williams who remains hospitalized in critical condition, and Ralph Figgs who has since been released. The explosion occurred in a part of the plant called the bag house. The bag house is structured like a silo and is used to collect wood dust from plywood. The wood dust is compressed into wood pellets. According to officials, the bag house has a set of doors that are designed to automatically open in order to vent out pressure. When the doors opened on April 26, something allegedly caused the wood dust to ignite causing an explosion sending flames into an area where there were workers. The cause of the explosion remains under investigation.
ORIGINAL STORY BELOW
A firetruck from Livingston Fire Department enters the facility and the security gate.
7 Injured in Plant Explosion, CORRIGAN, April 26, 2014 - At approximately 6:30 pm on April 26, 2014, an explosion was reported from the Georgia Pacific plywood facility located at 800 Industrial Road just north of Corrigan. Fire departments from Corrigan, Livingston, Lufkin, and Onalaska were dispatched to the scene. The explosion reportedly happened in the area of the plywood mill where sawdust is collected from sanding the plywood. According to officials with Georgia Pacific, seven men were injured. Four were flown out by medical helicopters to Hermann Hospital in Houston while three were transported to a hospital in Lufkin by ambulance. Ambulances from Americare Ambulance Service, deputies from the Polk County Sheriff's Office, State Troopers, Emergency Management Coordinator, Larry Pitts, Corrigan Police Chief, Darrell Gibson and Polk County Sheriff, Ken Hammack were dispatched. Officials with Georgia Pacific stated that operations at the facility are halted until they can pinpoint what caused the sawdust to ignite. Damage to the facility from the explosion is believed to be minimal. Officials with Georgia Pacific stated to PolkCountyToday.com that their thoughts and prayers are with the families of the injured, and that safety is of the utmost importance to operations.
Editor's Note: We were stopped at the gate of the facility by officials. The pictures you see was from as close as we were allowed to get.
A helicopter from PHi Air Medical lands at the Georgia Pacific plywood mill in Corrigan.
Corrigan Police Chief, Darrell Gibson arrived at the scene.
Polk County Sheriff, Ken Hammack heads to the vicinity of the explosion.
Polk County Emergency Management Coordinator, Larry Pitts
Several men were transported to Corrigan Bulldog Stadium where medical helicopters were able to land.
An ambulance leaves the facility with injured enroute to Lufkin.
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