Images by WTOC staff and viewers of Imperial Sugar refinery fire and response on February 7, 2008.More >>
PORT WENTWORTH, GA (WTOC) - The recovery efforts have been called off for the night at Imperial Sugar in Savannah. The building is too unstable and the efforts will resume Saturday morning.
Shortly after 6 pm Friday Imperial Sugar CEO John Septor spoke briefly about the past 24 hours. "This has been a very challenging long day for all of us. I'd like to thank all the emergency services that have been here on sight for the past day."
Looking at the plant Friday all you could see was a pile of twisted metal, and smoke still billowing in the sky. Like emergency crews Septor has been on sight all last night and today. He was actually in the building when it collapsed.
"Our hearts go out to everyone that has been impacted by this," said Septor, "I am deeply moved by the care and concern of the community but also for those who are suffering."
The latest information is that four people were killed in the explosion; four workers are still unaccounted for and more than were 40 injured and admitted to various hospitals across Georgia. The most severe cases were sent to the Augusta Burn Centers.
Last night there were about 100 employees in the building at the time of the explosion. Still the cause of that explosion is unknown and will remain unknown until the fire is out and investigators can get in the building.
As for the future of Imperial Sugar that too is unknown. "We can see from the outside that there is structural damage but we cannot see how much equipment damage there is," said Septor, "We won't know that until we enter the facility and that will determine how long the facility will be down."