1 dead, 12 injured in Central Texas hospital explosion

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At least one person was killed and a dozen were injured in an explosion at a Central Texas hospital caused by a construction accident.

Officials said the blast happened around 3 p.m. Tuesday in a part of the Coryell Memorial Hospital in Gatesville.

Witnesses said a generator exploded in an addition to the hospital that was under construction. The hospital chief executive said a gas line may have been involved. 

“It was a tremendous blast. It felt like a bomb exploded. That was the first thought that went through my mind,” said CEO David Byrom. “After I’ve seen the damage, I will tell you it’s certainly catastrophic what occurred. We are fortunate and blessed no more injuries occurred.”

The explosion caused a partial building collapse. The person killed and the 12 people injured were all construction workers.

Dr. Jeff Bates, the hospital's medical director, said several workers were critically injured.

Some of the injured were taken to trauma centers in Temple. Two patients who suffered severe burns were airlifted to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

None of the hospital's patients or staff were injured but many of them were evacuated because power was knocked out to the entire area.

The name of the deceased construction worker has not been released.

The cause of the explosion remains under investigation. Foul play is not suspected at this point.

Officials will provide another update on Wednesday at 11:45 a.m.

Gatesville is located north of Killeen and west of Waco in Coryell County.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.