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Corrigan Times - Local News

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GP plant explosion claims second life


HOUSTON -- Kenneth "Kenny" Morris, 58, of Lufkin became the second Georgia-Pacifi c worker to die from injuries sustained during and April 26 explosion and fi re at the company's Corrigan plywood mill. Morris' family announced that he died on Friday morning, June 6, at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. "The Morris family wishes to thank the Corrigan and Lufkin communities, as well as Kenny's Georgia-Pacifi c co-workers and friends for their unwavering support and prayers. Also, a special thank you is owed to the Memorial Hermann John S. Dunn Sr. Burn Center for the world-class care and compassion that Kenny received," the family said in a prepared statement issued through the offi ce of the Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont. Funeral services were held on Monday, June 9, at Carroway Funeral Home in Lufkin. "As the family mourns their loss, please continue to keep Kenny's wife Debbie and their children, Ashley and Amanda, in your thoughts and prayers," the statement added. Morris was one of seven workers injured in the fi re, four of whom were taken by air ambulance in serious or critical condition to the Houston hospital. Three others were treated and released at a Lufkin hospital on the day of the incident. Charles Wayne Kovar, 56, of Moscow died from his injuries on May 30. The two others who were taken to Houston included Jimmy Williams, who remains hospitalized in critical condition, and Ralph Figgs, who has been 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 subsequently compressed to form wood pellets. 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 that sent fl ames out the doors into an area where the injured men were working. The cause of the fi re is still under investigation.


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