SAN LORENZO, Paraguay – Families in the Paraguayan city of San Lorenzo are grappling with sadness, helplessness, and some hope after an explosion at a sausage factory left one worker dead and 41 others injured.
The incident, which occurred at the Ochsi factory, has left the injured workers at the Ingavi Surgical Specialties Hospital in Fernando de la Mora, dealing with critical and delicate conditions. For the families of the affected workers, the anguish continues as they wait for updates on their loved ones.
Laureana Ponce is deeply worried about her husband, Nelson Vera, who suffered burns to 80 percent of his body. He was just finishing his work day as a driver for Ochsi when the explosion took place, leaving their three children anxiously waiting for him to come home.
Meanwhile, the family of 29-year-old Cristian Villalba sits anxiously, hoping for some consolation as they wait for news. His father, Justo Villalba, laments the fact that his son was in the nearby toilets at the time of the explosion, suffering from ammonia inhalation poisoning affecting his lungs.
The tragedy has left 24-year-old Gustavo Notario’s family devastated, with his partner Laura Amarilla questioning how she will tell their six-year-old daughter that her father is gone due to the company’s irresponsibility.
Ochsi representative Johannes van der Low has promised support for the affected families in medical, financial, and psychological areas. However, questions still loom over what caused the explosion and whether it was due to tampering or failure.
Prosecutor Gerardo Mosqueira, at the scene of the accident, has indicated that it is the first time in 70 years that this kind of event has occurred, leaving authorities and the company with a lot to investigate and account for. The surroundings of the factory remain desolate and cordoned off, as the smell of ammonia persists in the air.
The community remains united in their hope for the recovery of the injured workers and seeks answers to what led to this tragic event.