Victim of Chemical Plant Explosion Dies

Posted on: 4:36 pm, September 27, 2012, by , updated on: 04:48pm, September 27, 2012

(Memphis) One of the workers involved a chemical plant explosion has died. The accident happened early Monday morning sending two workers to the hospital with major burns.  Thursday morning, 50-year-old Gregory McKnight passed away.

His family says they are still too shaken-up about the loss but say they want McKnight to be remembered as a loving father and husband.

McKnight’s family gathered at his home in Raleigh.  To them, he was much more than a chemical operator.  He was a husband and father of two boys ages 21 and 15 years old. They say he passed away at 6 a.m. this morning, surrounded by family. 

McKnight had been suffering from burns on more than 80 percent of his body since being involved in an explosion at the Penn a Kem chemical plant.

“I saw it on the news but I had no idea it was my neighbor,” said Gonyea Howard.

Howard says he went to high school with McKnight thirty years ago and thier sons have also gone to school together, “It’s just a shock. You never know. Such a nice person be taken away at such an early age in his life.”

Flowers stood at the gate at the Penn a Kem plant Thursday. The flag was at half-staff.

The plant manger released a statement saying, “Our heartfelt condolences go out to Greg’s family, as well as to his friends and his Penn A Kem co-workers.  Greg was a valued member of the Penn A Kem team and he will be greatly missed.”

At last word, the other victim of the explosion is still at the MED suffering from severe burns.