Man hit by debris 3rd death in deadly blast, lawyer claims

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man whose family says suffered serious injuries after being hit by debris during the deadly explosion in northwest Houston last month has died, an attorney said.

Gilberto Mendoza Cruz, 47, died at the hospital after being forced to evacuate his home due to damages caused by the explosion at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing, attorney Chance A. McMillan said.

In a statement, the family's attorney said the roof of Cruz's home collapsed on him during the explosion and he was sent to the hospital.

"Mr. Cruz lived within the blast radius of the early morning explosion when debris from his damaged home struck and seriously injured him," read the statement. "He passed away on Feb. 5 after multiple days of hospitalization.

Cruz is being remembered as a loving husband and father.

Last month, the Houston Fire Department identified the two victims killed in the explosion.

Chief Sam Pena said Frank Flores and Gerardo Castorena Sr., employees of Watson Grinding and Manufacturing, were using the gym facility before the workday when the explosion happened.

Watson Grinding and Manufacturing sent ABC13 the following statement:
"We offer our sincere condolences to the family of Gilberto Mendoza. Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by this terrible accident."

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