Gatesville explosion

A water tower stands next to the damaged portion of the Coryell Memorial Hospital in Gatesville after an explosion June 26, 2018. The tower, thought to have structural damage, still stands while investigators work the scene

Steps are being taken to eventually demolish the site where an explosion June 26 rocked Coryell Memorial Hospital, according to Hospital Spokeswoman Carly Latham.

State agencies reviewed environmental samples from the site, or “selective demos,” and determined proceeding with the demolition poses no harm. Latham did not detail which specific agencies received the samples.

Crews are now beginning to shut off electricity, gas and sprinklers at the site.

“When all that is wrapped up, they will begin what people think of when they hear demolition and start bringing the walls down,” Latham said.

Three construction workers died and 13 were injured from the incident that originated inside a utility plant building, which was included in a project for a new 117,000-square-foot addition that began in November 2016.

The addition was set to feature new operating rooms, a new 25-bed hospital portion, a 16-bed rehab center and new administrative offices.

Hospital CEO David Byrom has said at previous news conferences that the project will eventually continue, noting Coryell Memorial is financially “healthy.”

Full demolition will follow these preliminary steps, according to Latham. Then officials will determine whether to begin building again at that exact spot, or move the hospital addition elsewhere. | 254-501-7553

Herald staff writer

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