Crews Recover Body of Fifth Explosion Victim - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Crews Recover Body of Fifth Explosion Victim

Crews are now trying to remove debris from around the fire site. Crews are now trying to remove debris from around the fire site.

PORT WENTWORTH, GA (WTOC) - Emergency crews have wrapped up another day of searching for victims at the Imperial Sugar Refinery in Port Wentworth. This afternoon, they found the body of a fifth victim. Port Wentworth Fire Chief Greg Long brought the news that many expected, but everyone dreaded.

"We were able to find another employee of Dixie Crystals," said Long. "Unfortunately, he did not survive the initial blast."

Three workers are still missing since Thursday night's explosion at the company. 32 people have been rushed to local hospitals. Officials with the Chatham Emergency Management Agency said 14 of those workers were treated and released. 17 victims were flown to burn centers in Augusta, Georgia and remain in critical condition.

Crews are now trying to remove debris from around the fire site. They've brought in heavy equipment to begin those efforts on Sunday to help recovery crews move closer to those still missing. In the meantime, investigators begin looking at the fire from many different perspectives, including a criminal investigation.

"When we have an operation this big, we want to rule out anything that could be foul play or anything unnatural that could have occurred," said Alan Shuman with the Georgia Fire Marshal's Office.

Imperial Sugar CEO John Shepton said they will continue to stand by their employees.

"All of the employees will continue to receive their pay and benefits during this period of concern and investigation," said Shepton.

Recovery crews will continue their search efforts tomorrow.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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