Injured Kilgore employee dies days after explosion - KCTV5

Injured Kilgore employee dies days after plant explosion

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(WMC-TV) - Hardeman County Sheriff John Doolen confirmed Monday night that injured worker Michael Chism has died.

The investigation into what caused the Saturday morning explosion is underway. Chism was taken by helicopter to The MED where he remained in critical condition until he died. He had burns on over 90 percent of his body.

The Kilgore plant makes air and naval decoy flares for the military. People who live nearby say doing so is like living on the edge.

"I live in fear every day," said Valerie Chism Blalock, who is Michael Chism's cousin.

As Valerie served up lunch at Aunt Berta's Monday, she said she misses her favorite customer.

"Always doing something for others," she said of Michael. "He did lawn service, community service. He's just a great guy ... We've got everybody praying for him. All the families, friends here in Toone and beyond."

Valerie says she fears for the students and staff at Toone Elementary School, which sits just up the hill from the plant.

Action News 5's Justin Hanson reached out to Kilgore Flares for a response but as of Monday evening, had not heard back regarding the request.

ATF says it should know the cause of Saturday's explosion on Tuesday.  

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