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Archive for Sunday, February 10, 2008

5 killed, several missing in refinery blast

February 10, 2008

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— As crews pulled another body from the charred remnants of a sugary refinery on Saturday, families and co-workers waited anxiously for identities of the five dead and the fate of the three men still missing.

They also desperately hoped for any sign of recovery among the worst injured in the explosion and fire at the refinery, which left 20 workers hospitalized with severe burns, 17 of them in medically induced comas.

Good news was scarce as firefighters pulled the fifth body from the Imperial Sugar refinery, outside Savannah.

Fire Chief Greg Long said the body was found near the plant's three 80-foot storage silos, one of which ignited like a bomb during the night shift Thursday.

The blast and fire left much of the massive plant dangerously unstable, and crews had to shore up the sagging upper floors in a four-story building Saturday before resuming searching for the missing men.

Firefighters had all but extinguished the fire that had raged in the refinery since the explosion.

The search was halted at sunset because the debris-strewn refinery remained too hazardous for nighttime searches.

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