MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - George Erickson is still in the intensive care burn unit at the USA Medical Center nearly three weeks after two barges exploded on the Mobile River.
Erickson, along with Casey Tyson and Justin Benoit, were taken to the hospital with burn injuries.
The sights and sounds of the explosions aboard the two barges on the Mobile River in April are some Erickson and his family will never forget. It changed their lives.
"All of a sudden he's in a (hospital) bed, and I don't know if he's going to make it or not," said Erickson's brother-in-law, Joseph Richerson.
Erickson was working for Oil Recovery Co. of Alabama, which was hired to clean two oil barges when the explosions occurred.
"Luckily, another employee that worked there with him saved him. He pushed him in the water to put the fire out," Richerson said.
Family said Erickson is suffering from third-degree burns on 60 percent of his body and remains in critical condition.
Richerson said, "It's something that shouldn't have happened, and now, our whole family has to deal with somebody else's mistake."
He said Erickson is being kept sedated most of the time and isn't able to say much. Family, however, said he has mentioned one thing in particular about the explosions.
"All I got out of him was him hollering for them not to pull in," Richerson said. "They were supposedly pulling a boat in and weren't supposed to."
While the family leans on one another for support, they said they're thankful Erickson's co-worker was beside him the night he was injured.
"If it weren't for him, my brother-in-law wouldn't be here right now, and it would be even worse," Richerson said.
To help out the family, friends are hosting a benefit June 23 in Theodore at Bill and Charlie's. It will be a family friend event with live bands and activities for both adults and kids.
There is also an account set up for George Erickson at Compass bank for donations.
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