Classic Chevy Corvettes Worth $1M Buried After Explosion Flattens Houston Shop

It's unknown if any of the cars are salvageable, but given the state of the facility, the prognosis is bleak.

John Keeble, Getty Images

A host of vintage Chevrolet Corvettes worth approximately $1 million was tarnished in an industrial accident Friday morning that destroyed at least three buildings and killed two people in the Houston area.

According to a combination of tweets posted by the Houston Fire Department (HFD) and a story by ABC 13, an explosion went off shortly before 4:40 a.m. at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing. The HFD appears to suspect the blast was caused by leaking propylene, a flammable gas sometimes used as a substitute for acetylene in welding.

Corvette specialist shop Houston Corvette Service is located across the street from Watson, and the explosion reportedly flattened two buildings on its premises. The shop's owner Gordon Andrus says that around $1 million worth of cars were in the shop when the blast leveled two of its structures.

"We restore old Corvettes, and it's full of what used to be really nice cars," Andrus told ABC 13. "Mine are flattened. It's sitting there with about a million dollars in cars right now."

Houston Corvette Service announced via social media that its paint and body shops went unscathed, and that the business will open as normal this coming Monday. Andrus reportedly expressed gratitude that nobody was in his shop at the time of the incident, meaning zero injuries were sustained by his employees.

Relatively few details are known at this time, including the specific models which were lost in the catastrophe. As more info continues to surface, we'll update this article to bring the full story.

Though the destruction of so many Corvettes is disheartening, the loss pales in comparison to that of the two Watson employees killed in the incident. All cars, even classics, are expendable. People never are.

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