Holiday visit turns tragic for explosion victim's family

By Brad Kessie – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Sandra Murphy flew to Jackson County last week to spend Thanksgiving with her son.  But one day after she arrived, the unthinkable happened.  Her son, Alex Caballero, was involved in the Friday afternoon explosion at VT Halter in Moss Point.  The 25-year-old died on the scene.

After a weekend spent working on funeral arrangements, his mom talked openly about the tragedy with WLOX News' Patrice Clark.

"I think we're still in a state of shock," Mrs. Murphy said.  "I haven't started mourning my son yet, because I want to be here for her."

The woman Murphy referred to was Caballero's wife.  They married almost two years ago.  And in 2008, the couple left Puerto Rico and relocated in Mississippi, because Mom said they wanted a better life.

Last Friday, the family had plans to go to the movies, one of Caballero's favorite things to do.  When his wife and his mother heard about the explosion, they rushed over to the VT Halter shipyard.  Only after reading the coroner's report did Mrs. Murphy accept that her son died in the explosion.

"I think it's a blessing that things happen the way they happened, because God wanted it that way," she said.  "I was here.  And had I not been here, she (his wife) would have been here by herself.  That would have been terrible.  And the fact that I was given the opportunity to at least spend one day with my son, I think of that as a blessing."

Patrice Clark will have more with the family tonight on WLOX News at 6pm. You can also click here to watch the complete interview with Sandra Murphy right now on

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