LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - John Gant, General Manager of Carbide Industries, says both men who died in Monday's accident at the plant were in the furnace control room, just about 25 feet from the site of the explosion.
Steve Nichols, 59, and Jorge "Louis" Medina, 56, were longtime workers but that is only what they did for a living. The loss of their lives leaves behind a much bigger hole.
Nichols lived down a quiet road near Charlestown, Indiana. He went to work as normal Monday and died just an hour after the explosion at the plant. His family said they were just too upset to talk about him yet.
"That suddenness I think is still hitting some of us," said Pastor T. Vaughn Walker, Medina's pastor at First Gethsemane Baptist Church. "You're not expecting that."
Walker was with Medina's family at the hospital Monday night. The shock had not yet completely set in.
"His wife talked to him at 5:15 on the phone and at 5:40 he's injured," said Walker.
Medina was a man who would help out at the church
"He would frequently come by to assist our maintenance man with changing light bulbs and just doing all the kind of things that an 87-year-old can't do or shouldn't do," Walker said.
Walker says Medina also worked hard for his large family.
"Apparently he was a man who was willing to work extra shifts at the plant because he wanted to provide a better life for his family," he said. "I really admire a person like that."
Walker says the church is trying to help his family now, while still thinking about Medina and Nichols' work family.
"Several of the men who work in the plant came and I could tell it was a tight-knit group and they were in shock too," said Walker. "Two men have lost their lives. Two families and extended families are impacted by that and that's why communities have to come together."
Carbide Industries says that it will do whatever it could to help the families of Nichols and Medina as they mourn their loss.
Nichols' family Tuesday asked anyone considering sending flowers to make a donation to Kosair Children's Hospital instead.
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