Clearly shaken, with a friend at her side, Julie Ortiz met with reporters after spending most of Saturday locked up in a La Porte motel. The motel was located across the street from the Air Liquide plant facility where her husband, Javier, worked.
All but one of the employees, Javier, got out.
After a 12-hour search, and after Julie spoke to FOX 26 News, investigators located a body underneath metal rubble inside the plant.
"I just want everyone to know he's a wonderful father of three and he's loved very much," said Julie prior to the discovery. "We're active in our church. We're good people. He's a chemist. I'm a teacher at a high school and we just ask for prayers."
A 911 call alerted police in La Porte to the explosion at 7:38 a.m. Saturday. Crews called in a helicopter to transport one worker to a Galveston hospital.
"It's my understanding he sustained some burns," said an Air Liquide spokesperson.
Police closed off the area around the plant, and informed nearby residents of the problem. They did not issue a shelter in place order.
"The reason for that is the chemicals are believed to be contained in the immediate lab area," said Sgt. John Krueger. "Therefore, there has been no warning."
The Air Liquide spokesperson said the facility mixes gases for use in industrial applications.
Julie Ortiz said her husband was 30 years old. The couple had three children, ages 3, 5, and 7.
For those friends and family that have asked about a way to help the Ortiz family, a memorial fund has been established to help Julie and her three children.
The account is
The Javier Ortiz Memorial Fund
Routing # 111000614
Account # 3017313700
If you would like to mail in a check donation, please send them to:
Chase Bank payable to the Javier Ortiz Memorial Fund
545 W. 19th St
Houston, TX 77008
PayPal contributions can be sent to email@example.com