Crews to Concentrate on Search; Fighting Silo Fires

Firefighters say fires are still burning in silos two and three.
Firefighters say fires are still burning in silos two and three.

PORT WENTWORTH, GA (WTOC) - On Monday morning, emergency workers will be back inside the Imperial Sugar refinery looking again for three people still missing after Thursday night's explosion. Port Wentworth Fire Chief Greg Long said the plant has suffered eight structural collapses. Still, crews have searched 95% of the complex. Fires that are still burning in the silos are preventing them from getting to the rest of the plant.

On Monday, firefighters will bring in cranes to douse the flames with water along with truckloads of sand to smother the still-burning sugar. Chief Long said it's critical they do this now.

"Silos two and three have been burning since the initial incident began," he explained. "We're going to have to extinguish those before the two concrete silos become unstable. Once that occurs, we can't search in there anymore so we want to address that as soon as possible."

Forty-four people were injured in the blast. Twenty of those victims were flown to burn centers in Augusta, Georgia. Crews have recovered the bodies of five victims, but they haven't positively identified them as workers. Three people are still unaccounted for.