UPDATE: At Least 7 Injured in Plant Explosion - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

UPDATE: At Least 7 Injured in Plant Explosion

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(KPRC) -- UPDATE: Four people remain hospitalized, three in critical condition, after an explosion and fire at a Polk County plywood mill.

According to Eric Abercrombie, a spokesperson for Atlanta-based Georgia Pacific, seven people were injured when the fire broke out around 6 p.m. Saturday at the Corrigan plant. Four were flown to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston and three others were taken to a Lufkin hospital.

A spokesperson for Memorial Hermann said three of the patients were listed in critical condition Sunday. The fourth was listed in fair condition. The workers taken to Lufkin were treated and released Saturday night, according to Abercrombie.

OHSA investigators were at the plant Sunday to begin their investigation. Abercrombie said the accident happened in a bagroom, a silo-like building that collects dust from the sanding process.

“The doors on the circumference of the building were designed to release the buildup of energy. It did that, they vented out. The dust inside is made of wood, it's combustible. So, there was a buildup. We're not sure what caused that, we're in the process of investigating that,” said Abercrombie.

While the investigation is underway, operations at the plant have shut down. The plant employs about 400 people.

“It's a bad thing for the community that people got hurt, especially people you know. You hate to see anybody get hurt,” said Corrigan resident Larry Torrez.

Abercrombie said the company's thoughts and prayers are now with the injured workers and their families. Georgia Pacific is handling accommodations for the families so they can be with their loved ones in Houston.


(KPRC) -- Eight people were taken to the hospital Saturday evening after an explosion at the Georgia Pacific Plant in Corrigan.

According to Corrigan Police Chief Darrell Gibson, the explosion happened at around 6:15 p.m., then a fire broke out. It took firefighters about an hour to get the fire under control.

Five of the victims were taken to a hospital by life flight. Four were taken to a hospital by ambulances.

Gibson said several of the victims have severe burns.

Several family members and friends gathered outside the plant entrance after the explosion, waiting for word on whether or not their loved ones were safe. People who live just a couple miles from the plant said they didn't hear or feel anything when the explosion happened.

Kieezy Robinson has relatives and friends who work at the plant. On Saturday evening he was still waiting to hear if they were okay.

"People are just trying to make an honest living and then this happens. It's sad, real sad," Robinson said.

Georgia Pacific is a company based out of Atlanta, Ga. They make paper products such as Brawny paper towels and Dixie Cups.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be leading an investigation into what caused the explosion.

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