Hospital opens after deadly Gatesville explosion


The staff from Gatesville’s Coryell Community Hospital and the investigators held their third press conference at Meadows Nursing Home on Monday. 

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the folks that were injured in this incident and those families that lost a loved one, and they are certainly in our minds,” says CEO David Byrom.

The hospital is now open and offering medical services just six days after the explosion which killed two construction workers and injured 14 more

The residents from both the Meadows Nursing Home and Oaks at Coryell Assisted Living are now back in those facilities. Some of them stayed with their families, while others stayed at nearby nursing homes. 

And while they are still shaken up, they credit the nursing staff. 

“There is no place like home, and we get to be a family here,” says Oaks and Welcome Assisted Living resident Patty Clemons.

Clemons described what she experienced during the explosion.

“The loudest noise I ever heard in my life, and then immediately the lights went out and then immediately they began to say, ‘Get out. Evacuate.’ We had to get out with what we just had on our backs,” Clemons says.

Clemons said the nursing staff handled the situation perfectly. 

“Everyone was staying so calm. Never saw anyone excited. And the nurses were so professional, they were very good to keep in touch with us,” says Clemons. 

During the press conference, the hospital staff reassured everyone the hospital is safe and open to patients. Byrom praised his staff. 

“Certainly their training kicked in as we worked with it, but their critical thinking skills were amazing,” says Byrom. 

Clemons will never forget this experience: “This is the craziest thing that has ever happened to me.” 

Investigators say it may take up to six months for them to complete the investigation. The hospital says blood donations are still needed, in the meantime.

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