Man who worked at tornado devastated Mayfield candle factory shares harrowing story

Man who worked at tornado devastated Mayfield candle factory shares harrowing story
Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 11:41 AM EST
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MAYFIELD, Ky. (WKYT) - It has now been five days since a deadly tornado ripped through Mayfield, Ky., leveling most anything in its path.

For some, they are still trying to process what happened, others are still in shock they survived.

WKYT spoke with David Hollowell, who pulled himself from the rubble of the Mayfield candle factory.

Hollowell’s story is still even shocking for him to share. He was at work Friday night at Mayfield Consumer Products, for what he thought was a normal shift.

“The time that it happened, I’ve never heard of a tornado in December, that’s the reason I went to work because I have kids to provide for,” said Hollowell.

Hollowell, who had worked at the candle factory for about a year and a half, was working to fill holiday orders. He says he was told workers might need to take cover around 9:30. He says first the power went off and then his shift became a nightmare.

“There was a big boom, then I just went flying. It kind of knocked me out,” said Hollowell.

Hollowell was trapped he thinks for about an hour before he says he was able to pull himself from the flattened building. He has injuries to his ribs, cuts and bruises but he knows he is lucky.

With the holidays approaching, Hollowell is thankful for his life, but also left worried about providing for his children without a job. It is not lost on this survivor just how much others in Mayfield are suffering as well this holiday season.

“A lot of people that lost everything and, you know, I’m just thankful because there is people in very very worse conditions than I’m in and they lost everything and I just want to, I know it’s hard for them because it’s definitely hard for me,” said Hollowell.

Eight people died at the plant.

Tuesday Gov. Beshear announced there will be an investigation into the plant, which is standard procedure per OSHA regulations.

Hollowell told us he needed to work that night, but now he wonders if something more should have been done. He says he is heartbroken to know he lost friends in the tornado.

He has now set up a GoFundMe to help since he’s now without a job and family to provide for.

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