The family of a man injured in an explosion at a Nisku welding company said he is staying in positive spirits despite his serious, life-altering injuries.
Eric Fabbro, 42, was one of two men taken to hospital after a blast at Ja-Co Welding and Consulting; Alberta Health Services said the other injured man was in stable condition. A third man in his 40s died at the scene.
Wife Nicole Fabbro said she learned about the explosion when she got a call from the hospital and fell to the floor when she found out Eric was injured.
“Scared, just scared. Lost,” she said when asked what went through her head.
Nicole and Eric’s parents rushed to the hospital. It isn’t clear what caused the blast, but Nicole said Eric has some recollection of the moments afterward.
“He crawled out because his legs were screwed so he called out and two young boys ran back in and got him.”
The family said Eric has had one surgery and is expected to undergo several more.
“He’s got a very, very deep gash right there,” Nicole said pointing to her lower leg.
“You can see the bone. The [gash] right here [on the thigh]… all his nerves are exposed. His muscles look like hamburger.”
Nicole said Eric also has a “huge” burn down his neck, arm and torso along with a broken nose and whip marks on his back from being hit by wires.
The explosion is latest in a series of difficult moments for the married couple of 15 years. Nicole is on disability, unable to work and does not drive; the couple also had difficult financial times after the economic downturn.
Nicole said the couple, who lived in B.C., lost “everything” before moving to Alberta to find work.
Eric, who was a diver before retraining as a welder, began working at Ja-Co in 2014.
There’s no timeline for how long Eric will be in the hospital and it’s expected that he will have a long road to recovery. Family members have started a GoFundMe page to financially help the couple — Eric is off work indefinitely.
Alberta Occupational Health and Safety is investigating the explosion.