This is what happens when a building explodes.
Late last month, a major explosion ripped through the Watson Grinding and Manufacturing Plant in Houston, Texas. This building also happened to be across the street from the Houston Corvette Service, a company that specializes in restoring - you guessed it - Corvettes. The explosion, likely caused by an electric spark that ignited a propylene leak, is still under investigation.
The early morning explosion was so powerful it affected over 450 homes and businesses. Sadly, two people were killed. Some of the material damage also affected 17 Corvettes, including the owner's, which were located inside the Houston Corvette Service headquarters. They are worth a total of about $1 million. And now we have images of the aftermath courtesy of the restoration company.
Owner Gordon Andrus has only recently been able to regain access to his shop and is now picking up the pieces and examining the damage with the goal of salvaging whatever is possible. The 17 Corvettes were trapped underneath the rubble, the remains of the 3,000 square-foot buildings. None of the company employees were injured or killed in the blast, which happened in the early morning hours. Some of the cars have since been recovered and delivered to a new shop set up nearby.
There are still other Corvettes trapped under the rubble. So far, each of the recovered cars can be fixed but the repair bills are already estimated to be somewhere between $300,000 and $400,000. A new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, by comparison, is worth anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000.
Despite everything that happened, Andrus has an incredibly good attitude and outlook. "We're going to recover. We're going to move on," he said to local news affiliate ABC13 Eyewitness news. And yes, all of the cars are insured. And fortunately, Houston Corvette Service is the right company to fix them because, well, that's its specialty - fixing and restoring classic Corvettes.
"We're just going to make the best of it. Other people have had it worse," Andrus concluded.