Man who died at pallet repair plant identified as Christopher Murdock, of Kalamazoo

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The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety has identified the man who died Tuesday following a small explosion in the yard at Holland Pallet Repair.

Christopher Hugh Murdock, 45, of Kalamazoo, was working on a front-loader tire when it exploded.

The police department also offered its condolences to the family in the written statement released on the incident today. Investigators are still reviewing the incident, and seeking the assistance of anyone who has information on what happened.

Murdock suffered severe injuries in the explosion about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. The first arriving officers immediately found Murdock unresponsive, but began first aid. However, the injuries were too severe and he died at the scene.

A company employee tells Newschannel 3 the victim was trying to re-fill a tire on a front loader, when it exploded.

At this point, it's unclear how the explosion occurred, or what led to the death.

Gary Kingsbury, a former Holland Pallet employee, used to work on the front loader involved in the incident.

“They've had it years. And we've changed him. I've helped change them before. I air them up and everything,” Kingsbury said.

Richard Motycka, owns AAA Performance, next door to Holland Pallet. He says he knew the victim, and that he was homeless before recently getting hired at Holland Pallet Repair.

“He just started working here 2-3 weeks ago. He did general maintenance, and whatever the boss needed him to do,” Motycka said.

Anyone having information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety at 337-8994 or Silent Observer at 343-2100.

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