Searchers Recover Seventh Body from Refinery Site - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Searchers Recover Seventh Body from Refinery Site

PORT WENTWORTH, GA (WTOC) - In a news briefing Wednesday afternoon, fire officials announced that crews have recovered the body of a seventh person from the scene of last week's refinery explosion.

Authorities are not releasing the identity of this latest victim to the public, but say the family has been notified.

What remains of the Imperial Sugar refinery is a chilling sight.

"It's pretty much piles and piles of bricks," explained Captain Todd Heil, with Georgia Search and Rescue. "It's similar to what the Trade Center looked like. There's a lot of collapse in the middle."

That's making it very dangerous to search.

"We've got several different types of collapses: pancake collapses and lean-to collapses. The lean-to collapses provide void spaces where the floors have hinged down and there are spaces where there could be possible victims in places of refuge," Heil added. "Those are the places we're searching first."

The fires in the plant have been extinguished; however, fires in silos two and three are still burning. That's where fire suppression teams are concentrating their efforts. They're running hoses from two different pumps, including one that's taking water right from the Savannah River, all the way up to the silos. These teams are specially trained and equipped to work in confined places as well as high places.

One person remains missing. Firefighters are now concentrating their search efforts on a 200-squuare-foot area near a break room where they feel the chances of recovery are best.

Firefighters are taking extra precautions to avoid any secondary collapse within the site, posting lookouts to watch for falling debris.

Seventeen of the those injured in the blast remain at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, 15 of whom are in critical conditions.

Contact the WTOC News team


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