4th victim dies from injuries in boiler explosion

ST. LOUIS - A fourth victim has died after a boiler explosion on Monday near Soulard.

Clifford Lee, 53, of St. Louis died at a St. Louis hospital Wednesday, according to the St. Louis Medical Examiner’s Office.

On Monday, a boiler exploded around 8 a.m. at Loy-Lange Box Co. on the 200 Block of Russell, it then crashed through the roof of Faultless Healthcare Linen, which is located at 2030 S. Broadway - about 500 feet away. Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said the boiler was about the size of a full-size van.

The other three killed in the explosion have been identified as - Kenneth Trentham, a 59-year-old man working inside the box company at the time of the explosion, 43-year-old Tonya Gonzalez-Suarez and 46-year-old Christopher Watkins of the 10100 block of Cabana Club Drive in St. Ann who were at their first day on the job at Faultless Healthcare Linen.

One other person remains hospitalized and is listed in stable, but critical condition.

Statement from Faultless Healthcare Linen:

We have learned that our third employee, Clifford Lee, injured in the reported Loy-Lange boiler explosion, has died of his injuries. We understand that he was a friend of Tonya Gonzalez-Suarez and Christopher Watkins, who were married to each other and also died of their injuries. For each of the three, it was their first day of work at the plant.

We mourn this terrible loss with their families and are grateful for the thoughtful and generous support offered to these families by so many in this community.

The Sons & Daughters of Soulard, a group of charitable- and community-minded business leaders based in Soulard, were among the first to offer their aid and graciously took the lead in setting up a relief fund to benefit the families. Their GoFundMe page can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/faultless-explosion-victims-fund. We understand some of the family members may have set up their own relief fund pages which are another resource for those wanting to show their support.

We also appreciate the many kindnesses shown to our company in these last days by city officials, business and community leaders as well as many individuals.
 

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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