Local News

ConAgra community prays together

Posted September 18, 2009 6:31 p.m. EDT

— Workers at the ConAgra plant in Garner suffered a stunning loss in June, when an explosion claimed three lives and injured dozens of others. They suffered a second blow this week when company leadership announced a plan to cut the staff by about half, citing the lingering effects of the explosion.

They will join together Friday night to mourn those losses and honor their dead, injured and those who will lose their jobs at a vigil at Poplar Springs Christian Church, 6115 Old Stage Road in Raleigh.

The June 9 explosion at the facility caused part of the building's roof to collapse. Investigators believe contractors installing a water heater vented natural gas inside the building, leading to the blast.

Production capabilities were reduced by about 50 percent as a result of the explosion, Dave Jackson with ConAgra said in a statement Wednesday.

The layoffs are scheduled for mid-November.

Vigil organizers said it was their intent to show support for the employees and their families who have suffered as a result of the twin losses.