Brother of McEwen explosion victim speaks on his progress

Brother of McEwen explosion victim speaks on his progress (Image 1)

Tony Clark has been at Vanderbilt University Medical Center nearly every day since his brother was injured in an explosion at an ammunition plant in McEwen.

Joey Clark, a 42-year-old father of two, was seriously hurt after the explosion at Rio Ammunition on Highway 230 last week.

He was one of two victims flown to Vanderbilt following the accident.

As soon as Tony heard the news that day, he headed toward the Nashville hospital from Humphreys County.

“I don’t know how I made it up here. I probably cried most of the way up here,” he told News 2.

When Tony finally arrived, his brother was heading into surgery.

Tony then learned 23-year-old Rodney Edwards, the other employee airlifted to Vanderbilt, didn’t make it.

“Every time a doctor would walk by, your heart would just drop. You would be thinking they were going to come tell us the same news they told the Edwards family,” he recalled.

Tony said the blast left his brother badly burned.

SLIDESHOW: McEwen plant explosion

“His left side of his face and his left arm are the most severe,” he added. “Probably the worst is he lost sight in his left eye.”

Joey Clark has already had four surgeries since being admitted to the hospital. A fifth is schedule for Friday.

Doctors said it most likely won’t be his last one.

“It is going to be difficult. His whole life has changed,” said Tony. “[I] just hope that he continues to live and continues to be encouraged, that his spirits don’t drop, he doesn’t get too depressed.”

He also said he hopes his brother realizes there was a reason and he will make it through.

The other two people injured in the blast have already been released from the hospital.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has deemed the explosion to be an accident.

Now, the Tennessee Department of Occupational Health and Safety will determine fault, if any, and check to see if there were any safety violations at Rio Ammunition.

Tony told News 2 the support of the community is helping him stay positive.

If you would like to help the Clark family visit, visit their funding site on

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