Families, friends of Rubbertown explosion victims talk to WHAS11

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by Claudia Coffey

WHAS11.com

Posted on March 22, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 22 at 7:07 PM

   LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Two workers who lost their lives were in the control room of the plant were a mere 25-feet from the explosion. Their families spoke to WHAS11 Tuesday about the men who were husbands, fathers and grandfathers. "When something happens so suddenly it is really difficult, I have found, for these families, over years to adjust to that," says Pastor T. Vaughn Walker.
   Pastor Walker says the family of 56-year-old Jorge Medina, or Louis as he called him, is having a tough time dealing with this tragic loss. Medina was a member of 1st Gethsemane Church on Algonquin for the past six years.
   Pastor Walker prayed with Medina's family at the hospital last night. He says Louis was a father of nine children and had 19 grandchildren. "Those kids spoke of him so glowingly, it just gave me another level of appreciation for the kind of man he apparently is," says Walker.
   Medina was one of two men killed at Carbide Industries. The other was 59-year-old Steve Nichols of Charlestown, Ind. His wife said on the phone they are all in shock. Both men died of severe burns to their bodies. Plant manager John Gant says they were both about 25-feet from the explosion.
   "I knew them both personally. They worked in the furnace department where the explosion occurred. They were both found in the control room of the furnace," says Gant.
   Gant, along with union leaders and coworkers, spent most of the evening at University Hospital supporting the families of those injured. It's a shocking loss for any family and especially for this tight knit group of workers who know that the job carries huge risk.
   "They all admitted it’s a dangerous job and Louis knew it was a dangerous job. He loved his job and he was providing for him and his family with dignity and respect," says Walker.
 

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