One construction worker was killed and a dozen others were injured after an explosion at an addition to a Texas hospital Tuesday, authorities say. Bob Harrell, the Coryell County emergency manager, says all of those killed or injured were construction workers and not hospital staff or patients. The incident was reported about 2:30pm Tuesday at a construction site at the 25-bed Coryell Memorial Healthcare System hospital in Gatesville, 36 miles west of Waco. Witnesses say an electric generator inside an uncompleted hospital expansion exploded, spreading shrapnel, the AP reports. However, Dave Byrom, the hospital's chief executive, says the blast possibly started with a gas line. The explosion caused part of the construction project to collapse, Harrell says.
Those injured were taken to trauma centers in Temple, 34 miles to the southeast, while those sustaining severe burns were airlifted 110 miles northeast to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Harrell says. Three or four were in critical condition, says Dr. Jeff Bates, the hospital's chief medical officer. Byrom says damage from the blast prompted the hospital to relocate its 12 existing patients to facilities in nearby cities, along with about 120 residents of the care homes that are part of the hospital campus. A spokesman for the Texas-New Mexico Power Company says the explosion knocked out power for a large portion of the city, but that most service was restored within three hours of the blast.
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