Coryell County Emergency Management
Coryell hospital explosion damage

HVAC Worker Killed, 15 Injured in Explosion at Hospital Construction Site

June 29, 2018
Accident occurred at hospital expansion project in Gatesville, Tex.

A worker for a Texas HVAC/plumbing contractor was killed and 15 other workers were injured in an explosion Tuesday, June 26, at a construction project in Coryell County, Tex.

Michael Bruggman, 43, from Rogers, Tex., was killed in the explosion at an expansion project at Coryell Memorial Hospital in Gatesville.

Bruggman and the other workers were on the site as employees of Lochridge-Priest of Waco. A spokesperson said the 15 injured workers were not employed by Lochridge-Priest, according to KCEN-TV.

The explosion was reported to have occurred in the hospital's boiler room, however investigators would not yet confirm whether it was a natural gas explosion. A photo gallery posted by Central Texas Now Channel 25 showed tremendous damage to the buildings and emergency personnel arriving on the scene.

Hospital workers hastened to move some hospital patients to other locations. The explosion cut off power to the area for a number of miles.

Michael Bruggman was a 1992 graduate of Academy High School. He attended Sam Houston State University where he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He was a construction supervisor and worked with HVAC, working all around Central Texas as well as spending five years in St. Thomas.

THIS LINK shows a statement by the management of Lochridge-Priest.

A spokesperson for the company said everyone is asking for good wishes and prayers. A candlelight vigil will be held in Temple, Tex., on Saturday evening, June 30.

A memorial service for Mr. Bruggman will be held at 11:00 AM Monday, July 2, 2018, at the Dossman Funeral Home Chapel, with Coach Grady Barganier officiating.

A fund has not yet been established for Mr. Bruggman's survivors, but Contracting Business will provide that information when it becomes available.