EDITOR'S NOTE: The Killeen Daily Herald was unable to get a clear signal in order to broadcast the press conference on Facebook Live.

UPDATE 6:05 p.m.: Coryell Memorial Hospital CEO David Bryom said the hospital expects to have a second press conference around noon Wednesday with more details. He said he is not sure when the hospital will fully reopen.

UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: Coryell Memorial Hospital CEO David Bryom said there has been one fatality so far as a result of the explosion that occurred in the back of the hospital around 3 p.m. Tuesday. Officials did not release the name of the person who died.

Twelve others are reported injured, according to officials. The person who died and the 12 injured were all construction workers. No staff or patients were injured.

The explosion is currently believed to have been the result of construction accident, and occurred in a part of the hospital that was under construction, Byrom said.

Byrom was in the hospital at the time of the explosion. "It was a tremendous blast," he said, describing like a "bomb" went off.

That construction site is "extremely damaged," Byrom said.

Officials said the state fire marshal's office is investigating.

Department of Public Safety Sgt. David Roberts said state troopers and other law enforcement agencies are set up around the hospital and are keeping it secure.

UPDATE 5:40 p.m.: Eric Paul, spokesman for Texas-New Mexico Power Company, said most of the Gatesville customers that lost power this afternoon now have power restored, with less than 10 customers still without power.

"Fewer than 10 customers are still without power, and power should be restored to them by tomorrow morning," Paul said.

UPDATE 5:20 p.m.: Coryell County officials have said many of the major burn victims from the explosion are being transported to Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

The Parkland Burn Center is one of the largest civilian burn units in the nation. The center houses a Burn Intensive Care Unit, a Burn Acute Care Unit and a Burn Care Outpatient Center.

UPDATE 5 p.m.

Some patients from Coryell Memorial Hospital are being transferred to Goodall-Witcher Hospital in Clifton.

“We’ve received some patients and we’ll be giving updates on our Facebook page,” said Adam Willmann, CEO of the hospital. “They are lower acuity patients; anyone severely injured will be heading to larger facilities.”

Willmann said most of the patients already were in the hospital.

According to scanner conversations, other patients are heading to the Hamilton Healthcare System hospital, but hospital staff were unable to confirm this.

UPDATE 4:50 p.m. News conference time changed to 5:45 p.m.

UPDATE 4:45 p.m. Hospital spokeswoman Carly Latham said she was unable to confirm the number of injured.

She said the hospital will have a news conference at 5:30 p.m. today.

The Killeen Daily Herald will stream it live at 5:30 p.m. on the kdhnews Facebook site: 

UPDATE 4:40 p.m.: Karen Bogan, a retired attorney whose husband is the pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Gatesville directly across the road from the hospital, said her home shook when the explosion occurred.

“Our house shook when it happened,” Bogan said. “It was really incredible, I’ve never felt anything like it.”

Bogan said electricity was still on the south side of West Main Street at 4:35 p.m, but electricity still hadn’t been restored down the road toward downtown Gatesville.

Bogan said her daughter is a registered nurse at the hospital and was aiding in evacuating patients as power has still not been restored.

“As far as we can see, the explosion happened back behind the building where they are working,” Bogan said. “Right now we haven’t heard of anyone we have from the church that has been injured.”

Metroplex spokeswoman Erin Spencer said staff had been briefed on the incident and were not expecting to receive displaced hospital patients.

“We are prepared to take patients; however, we have not been notified we are going to be receiving any yet,” she said. “We are trying to be prepared for what they need. We are still waiting on that information.”


UPDATE 4 p.m.: Among the responding agencies are the fire department at Fort Hood.

“I can confirm our Directorate of Emergency Services fire department sent 10 personnel and three vehicles as part of our mutual aid support,” said Christopher J. Haug, Fort Hood public information officer. “The personnel included paramedics and firefighters.”

UPDATE: 3:38 p.m.: Eric Paul, spokesman for Texas-New Mexico Power Company, said that 886 customers were without power and crews were on scene to help restore service.

“What we know is that we have one main circuit out of many that is out,” Paul said. "It’s in the neighborhood of the hospital."

Paul said the company had crews on scene and were ready to start restoring power when the situation is declared safe.

“We have crews there ready to start working, and when it’s safe to do soand when we’re allowed to do so, we’ll get to work,” he said.

Tiffany Zacha, receptionist at Hillside Medical Lodge, said the retirement home was arranging transportation for patients at the hospital. Zacha said the home is not being evacuated.

“We’re in the middle of getting transportation out there, but everything is fine with us,” she said.


UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.: 886 Texas New Mexico power customers are without power, according to an official with the company.

An explosion has occurred in the back of Coryell Memorial Hospital in Gatesville, which knocked out power in town, a sheriff's official confirmed Tuesday afternoon.

A Gatesville Police Department official concerned 'a major incident' in the city on Tuesday afternoon.

A Department of Public Safety official said that multiple agencies are responding to the hospital in Gatesville, located at 1507 West Main St.

Killeen Fire Department said they were responding with two ambulances, one engine and one rescue truck.

Coryell Memorial Healthcare System is a community-owned healthcare organization. It includes a  25-bed licensed hospital, Level IV Trauma Center emergency room, more than 30 primary and specialty care providers, an advanced wound care center, an outpatient rehabilitation center, skilled nursing facility with long-term care and inpatient rehabilitation, assisted living and independent living apartments.

Emily Hilley-Sierzchula is reporter for the Killeen Daily Herald. Reach her at emilys@kdhnews.com

Herald reporter

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