Family of hospital explosion victim speaks out

Texas

AUSTIN (KWKT) — Many questions still remain into the cause of the Gatesville Memorial Hospital explosion. The blast occurred on June 26, leaving two men dead and 14 injured.

One of the victims is Wilber Dimas, who is currently at the Burn Center at the Dell Seton Medical Center in downtown Austin.

Wilber’s sister, Maricela Dimas, says doctors have found burnt tissue in his lungs which has now caused pneumonia. Even though the news is tough to deal with, Maricela says the hardest part is the silence surrounding the investigation. 

“Somebody caused this, and now I’m going to have to live with this and my brother is. And it’s not easy,” Maricela says.

For 14 days, Maricela has lived at an Austin hospital.

“This is like a nightmare that I can’t wake up from. I wake up, he’s in bed. He’s getting — going into the operation room on a daily basis. You know, they are constantly removing mucus from his lung and the buildup, and they’re constantly working on his wounds,” Maricela says.

Her brother was left in a coma with over 70 percent of his body burned after the blast. 

“So we have been very hopeful that he would get better. But once we find out that there was burning inside his lungs from inhaling the gas — that just has us hanging on a thread, basically,” Maricela says.

The thread is getting thinner as times goes on. 

“We’re scared. We don’t know what’s going to happen to him. I don’t know if he’s going to make it,” Maricela says.

She says her family deserves answers. 

“It’s so mind-blowing. I do not… I cannot wrap my head around the fact that we’re the only family asking for reasons why. An explanation to find closure. To move on with our lives. To do what’s right. I feel like we’re the only ones on the front lines fighting for his health,” Maricela says. 

Investigators say the blast was caused by a gas explosion, but the reason why is still a mystery. 

“No one is talking. It’s just an accident that happened. No one wants to talk about it. I need to find out what happened. I can’t do it on my own,” Maricela says.

No legal action has been taken other than the court order to halt clean-up to preserve evidence.

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