Victim’s family sues over deadly Houston blast

A lawsuit has already been filed over Friday’s explosion that killed two workers at a plant in a Houston, Texas suburb.

The family of one of the victims, Frank Flores, contends the Watson Grinding and Manufacturing operation knew the plant was dangerous and didn’t warn workers.

Flores and another man, Gerardo Castorena were killed in the blast that was so strong, it destroyed nearby homes. Castorena and Flores, employees at Watson, were at the gym working out before their shifts when the blast went off, killing them both.

”It’s off the foundation,” said Christine Chuma, referencing her home of 10 years. “You can see the grass through one of the rooms.”

Chuma is one of hundreds of people without a place to live. Her home is one of 214 homes damaged by the early morning blast in northwest Houston according to the Houston Chronicle.

”All the windows are gone,” said Chuma. “The garage is pushed, damaged all the way in. It’s horrible. It’s not livable.“

In addition, more than a dozen Corvettes worth more than $1 million are buried in the rubble of a nearby restoration company located across the street from the demolished plant.

Owner Gordon Andrus told CNN that two company buildings — holding about 15 cars worth around $1 million in total — were destroyed.

“The charge blasted across the street, right over our buildings and then on into the neighborhoods where you’ve heard about all the houses that have been damaged,” Andrus told the network. “The rest of the street had very minor damage but my two buildings are flattened.”

He says he doubts the cars themselves were completely destroyed — but it’s just a matter of removing them from the rubble.

“The buildings will have to be torn down,” he told the network. “So the question is, what do I have to do to shore the building up enough to get them cars out of there and what’s it going to take to repair the cars?”

Andrus told CNN he has contacted each affected customer. While he owns a few cars trapped in the buildings, that’s not a concern at the moment, he said.

“Every car is insured, and we’re in the business of repairing and restoring cars,” he said. “We will make it right one way or another.”

The 25-year-old restoration business occupies four buildings in total — and two of them, used for paint and body work, are still intact, he said.

Source: Houston Chronicle and New York Post