Local News

Family Members Hope For Speedy Recovery Of Two Injured In Rocky Mount Explosion

Posted June 20, 2003

— Two men are recovering from serious injuries after an explosion at a plant in Rocky Mount early Thursday morning.

Calvin Dancy, 32, of Whitakers, and Edwin George, 52, of Rocky Mount, temporary employees at FAB-X Metals, Inc., were working an overnight shift at the plant on U.S. 301 when they reportedly used a blowtorch to open a 55-gallon metal barrel.

A person in charge told WRAL that residual fluid inside the barrel was likely ignited by the blowtorch, causing the barrel to explode. The man said using a blowtorch is not standard operating procedure and did not know why it was used.

Both men are in critical condition at the UNC Burn Center in Chapel Hill.

"When I heard, I couldn't imagine what to expect because when I went to see him, words can't describe because he looked nothing like my brother used to look," said Cynthia Wilkens, Dancy's sister.

Jamatry Bryant, Dancy's stepson, says it was supposed to be his last night on the graveyard shift.

"I'm just praying that he makes it. Just be good and make sure everything works out right," he said.

Family members say George became the man of the house at six years old when his father died in an accident. They say he helped raise his brothers and sister.

"When you have an older brother step in like that, it makes it special, very special and for him not to be around, he would be very missed," said Alton George, Edwin's son.

The president of Fab-X says the company is conducting its own investigation into the incident and immediately reported it to the state Department of Labor. He said he cannot make any public statements until they find the cause of the incident. The plant, where 85 people are employed, suffered about $1,000 in damage.


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