Corpus Christi (KIII news) — Saturday will mark a significant anniversary in Corpus Christi -- the main grain elevator explosion.

37 years ago the City of Corpus Christi was shaken when the main grain elevator on the ship channel exploded in flames and smoke.

Six people were killed, and 33 were injured including Kevin Saunders who became a paraplegic as a result of the accident.

"I guess it wasn't my time to go because one paramedic didn't want to leave me," Saunders said.

Saunders is back in the City to see friends on the 37th anniversary of the blast that left him paralyzed from the chest down, but it didn't keep him down.

Saunders became a para-athlete and won a bronze medal at the 24th Olympics in Seoul, Korea, he became a Health and Special Olympic advisor to Presidents Bush and Clinton and had also become known as an accomplished motivational speaker.

"I just thank the good lord I was able to survive and go on and accomplish stuff and inspire people to do better with their lives. And you know like working with athletes at K State or speaking to kids in schools it's about pushing a little harder every day trying to improve the quality of their life," Saunders said.

Saunders is hoping to be able to continue spreading his message of inspiration as long as he can.

Stay connected with 3News for the latest news, sports, and weather. Download the KIII-TV 3News app now.

Have an idea for a story? Send news tips to news@kiiitv.com, and visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!