1 Dead, 12 Injured In Large Explosion At Texas Hospital

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GATESVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Emergency crews responded to a large explosion that happened at Coryell Memorial Hospital in Gatesville, Texas approximately 40 miles west of Waco.
It happened around 2:15 p.m. Tuesday at a construction site near the back of the hospital.
Authorities confirmed around 5:45 p.m. the person who was in critical condition has died.
Twelve other people, all construction workers, were injured and some were taken to Parkland Hospital in Dallas.
Stay with CBS DFW for more information.
The power is out at the hospital and it has been evacuated. Patients have been transferred to another hospital.
The hospital is near a nursing home and that nursing home was being evacuated as well.
Sue Eckhart shot video of the thick, black smoke while driving by slowly and posted it on Facebook.
Brody Bertolini, a welder working next door at Kalyn Siebert, said he heard the explosion and the power went out.
“I looked up and everything was falling apart,” said Bertolini. “We had some lights on still but a lot of lights got knocked down.”
The hospital marketing and public relations director, Carly Latham, told Waco CBS affiliate KWTX-TV during live news coverage, that nurses followed the hospital’s disaster plan and started transferring patients out to other facilities.
KWTX viewers near the site of the explosion sent a couple of photos of the destruction.
(Photo Credit: Cody Self)
(Photo Credit: KWTX Viewer)
There were no doctors or patients near the explosion which was in an area that was under construction.
Early reports indicated the explosion happened in an area in which the hospital is being expanded, possibly in a boiler room. There was no one trapped in the rubble or partial collapse.
In addition to the hospital, power was out in downtown Gatesville and at the Coryell County Courthouse and some traffic lights were dark.
A spokesman for the Texas-New Mexico Power Company says the explosion knocked out power for a large portion of the city.
“I was on Levita Road picking up my dogs when I heard this loud noise and by the time I got up to Memorial Drive there were all kinds of police and fire trucks headed that way,” Gatesville attorney Tanya Place said.
She lives on Memorial Drive a short distance north of the Coryell Memorial Hospital.
“There’s a lot of smoke, a lot of smoke,” she said.
Tyler Ayers was working on the construction site when the explosion happened.
“I got hit in the head by a light fixture, but I’m OK,” he said. “There was an electrical generator on the other side of the building and it just blew up and scattered stuff all over the place.”
Ayers said there were others hurt but not too many.
“We just got everybody we could out of the building,” Ayers said.
Ground was broken in November 2016 for a major renovation and expansion at the hospital.
The 117,000-square foot project includes new operating rooms, a new 25-bed hospital wing, administration offices, a 16-bed rehabilitation facility and a new central plant that houses chillers and boilers.
An Oncor spokesperson in Dallas confirms their service territory runs close by, but they do serve mutual aid. At this time they have not been requested.
MedStar was monitoring the situation as well.
At this point, it’s not known if the Red Cross will be sending help from North Texas.
Flower Mound’s ambulance bus, AMBUS, is currently on scene on a State Mission Assignment.

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