|Corrigan Times - Local News
Copyright 2014 - Polk County Publishing Company
Local man dies from injuries from GP explosion
CORRIGAN – One of four men seriously injured in an April 26 explosion and fi re at the Corrigan Georgia-Pacifi c plywood mill has died. Charles Wayne Kovar, 56, of Moscow died at 12:43 p.m. Friday in a Houston hospital as the result of severe burns sustained in the fi re. Two others who were injured, Jimmy Williams and Kenneth Morris, remain in Memorial Herman Hospital in Houston while the fourth, Ralph Figgs, has been released. Immediately following the fi re, three other employees were taken to a Lufkin hospital, where they were treated and released. The April 26 incident occurred in the bag house, which has been described as a silo-type structure that collects wood dust from the plywood manufacturing process. The dust is compressed to form wood pellets, a product that is used as a fuel. Company offi cials said the bag house has a set of doors that are designed to open automatically and vent out pressure. However, when they opened on April 26, something ignited the wood dust causing an explosion which sent fl ames out the doors into an area where the injured men were working. The Kovar family released a statement about Charles Kovar. "We have sorrow, because today this world lost a great husband, father, friend, and neighbor," the statement said. "His life exemplifi ed integrity, hard work, faithfulness, compassion, and true Christian love. We have eternal hope, because we know Dad is now and will forever be experiencing the joys of heaven with no more pain, injury, or infi rmity. He is truly in a better place." In the statement, the Kovar family thanked the Corrigan, Camden, Lufkin, and Georgia- Pacifi c communities for "their outpouring of love and concern." "We would like to thank the thousands who prayed for our father over the past month," the statement said. "Your prayers have sustained us, and God has provided so many small miracles through your compassion. A special thank you is given to the staff of Memorial Hermann's John S. Dunn burn unit for their diligence and compassion while caring for our father and to Georgia-Pacifi c for providing room and board for the family near the hospital." The family also thanked "Uncle Si" Robertson from the "Duck Dynasty" television show for taking the time to call them and to offer his prayers and condolences. "Finally, thank you to all the countless friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances, and friends we've never met," the statement said. "Your outpouring of love, prayers, and support have meant a great deal to our family." In addition, the Kovar family asked for prayers for their mother, Phyllis Kovar, and the other victims of the fire. Eric Abercrombie, a spokesman for Georgia-Pacific, said learning of Charles Kovar's death was sad news. "The employees of the Corrigan plywood mill and everyone across our building products division are mourning the death of our fellow employee, Charles Kovar," Abercrombie said. "Our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to his family and friends. We're also still praying for the two employees who are still in critical condition." Georgia-Pacific has provided accommodations for the families of those employees injured so they could be with them during this time. Abercrombie said their thoughts and prayers are with those families.