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Third person dead after Watson Grinding and Manufacturing explosion, attorney says

Officials reviewing if man’s death tied to Houston explosion

HOUSTON – An attorney representing a family affected by last month’s explosion at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing believes his client’s recent death is tied to the blast.

Attorney Chance McMillan said Gilberto Mendoza Cruz died Wednesday, just 12 days after the explosion.

Cruz, his wife and two children lived close to the facility in the Westbranch neighborhood.

“These people were so close, I mean they didn’t know what was going on. I think something to the effect they thought the house was struck by lightning,” said McMillan. “They suffered some injuries like superficial stuff and then stuff like neck and back injuries.”

McMillan said Cruz went to the hospital on the day of the explosion but was later released. He said Cruz went back to the hospital a few days later when his blood pressure suddenly spiked.

McMillan said Cruz collapsed after being released from the hospital a second time.

“(He) ends up getting out of the hospital and collapses in the hotel his family was having to stay at because they couldn’t go back to their house,” said McMillan.

McMillan said the family told him Cruz had no known medical problems prior to the explosion.

However, the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office has not yet determined his exact cause of death.

“There’s just no reason for him to have had this happen when we look at the condition he was in on January 23rd,” said McMillan.

McMillan filed suit against Watson Grinding and Manufacturing and several other companies connected to the operation.