Local News

ConAgra workers get free tickets to Mudcats game

Posted June 24, 2009
Updated June 25, 2009

— Employees of a Garner food plant where an explosion killed three people and injured dozens of coworkers were recognized Wednesday evening at a Carolina Mudcats game.

Mudcats gives plant workers tickets Mudcats gives plant workers tickets

Seats for Wednesday's minor league baseball game were free for ConAgra Foods employees and their families. A moment of silence was held to remember those who died in the June 9 blast.

"Just about every door where we were at was blown open,” ConAgra employee Anthony Sanders said as he recalled the blast.

Sanders said taking his children to see the Mudcats take on the Jacksonville Suns helped get his mind off the explosion.

"If we can do something back for the community, that is what it is all about,” Mudcats owner Steve Bryant said.

Bryant handed out 2,500 free passes to ConAgra employees. The Suns defeated the Mudcats 10-5 at Five County Stadium.

Clean up at plant continues

Investigators have determined that a natural gas leak caused the explosion, which blew out a wall of the 425,000-square-foot plant and punched holes in the roof.

"There is a lot of work to do. We have to go back and clean the plant and get it ready for food-grade operation. So that takes a lot of work,” ConAgra plant manager Mark Rauenzahn said.

Barbara McLean Spears, 43, of Dunn; Rachel Mae Poston-Pulley, 67, of Clayton; and Louis Junior Watson, 33, of Clayton, died in the blast.

Three of the injured workers remain in critical condition in the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. Two other workers are also still in the hospital.


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  • NCSU2004 Jun 25, 2009

    27615... that's pretty rude.

    It wasn't ConAgra giving the people the tickets as a solution or a buyout, it was the Mudcats giving them the tickets as their contribution for going through something so horrible. I think it was nice. They didn't have to do anything for them.

  • 27615 Jun 25, 2009

    that sounds good....people get hurt and die but hey here a couple tickets to minor league baseball!

  • tgw Jun 25, 2009

    Hay Steve and Mudcats-great job. Way to go honoring folks who really have stress in their life right now. Great community event.

    We were out Tuesday evening-had a great time.

    Friends, this is good family entertainment. Get the good seats-they're worth it. Hot dogs-good-lemonade ok-beer-very cold.
    Team seems to be pretty good-these kids can play good ball.

    Go Mudcats.

  • SweetB Jun 25, 2009

    Very Cool!

  • davidgnews Jun 25, 2009

    This is just awesome !!! Kudos to Steve Bryant and his team.

  • Nobody but Carolina Jun 25, 2009

    I like how the Mudcats will step up and do something like this.