Local Fire Official, Police: Three Bodies Found, Three Unaccounted For - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Local Fire Official, Police: Three Bodies Found, Three Unaccounted For

Capt. Matt Stanley (left) and Sgt. Mike Wilson. Capt. Matt Stanley (left) and Sgt. Mike Wilson.

PORT WENTWORTH, GA (WTOC) - In a 2:20pm news conference by Capt. Matt Stanley of Savannah Fire and Rescue and Sgt. Mike Wilson of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department, officials clarified the confirmed number of dead in Thursday's tragic explosion.

Local officials can only confirm three deaths, saying now that only three people remain unaccounted for.

The three bodies have been recovered and will be sent to a medical examiner.

While he says there's always room for hope, Capt. Stanley said, "We switched from a rescue to recovery this morning."

Capt. Stanley says the fire is now under control, though "there are going to be hot spots probably for days."

Recovery efforts are being hindered by water from sprinklers and firefighting efforts, as well as the instability of the structure due to fire damage.

About the Victims
Of the about 20 people taken to burn centers in Augusta, the victim in the worst shape is burned over 94 percent of the body. All patients are at least 30 percent burned. Several are at 70 percent or more.

Fifteen victims remain in critical condition, three in serious.

The victims range in age from around 18 years old to the mid 50s. Only three people are conscious right now.

Surgeons have already done operated as many as ten times. More surgeries are to come.

The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation, though an Imperial Sugar officer did say it could be the result of a sugar dust explosion.

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