6 Missing After Refinery Blast

Explosion rocks sugar plant near Savannah, Ga.
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2008 7:53 AM CST
Smoke billows from behind the main plant of the Imperial Sugar Company during a fire at the plant on the Savannah River Thursday Feb. 7, 2008 in Port Wentworth, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Six people remained missing this morning after an enormous explosion at a sugar refinery near Savannah, Ga., last night, CNN reports. No fatalities have been reported, but the blast injured 42 people, some of them critically. The cause remained unclear, but fire officials said sugar dust might have ignited. ''All I know is, I heard a loud boom and everything came down,'' said one worker.

"We've seen people that have had burns to their hands all the way to about 80% to 90% of their body," said a doctor at a nearby hospital. The explosion at Imperial Sugar shook houses miles away across the Savannah River in South Carolina. When sugar dust is in the air, "it can get ionically charged and light off with just a bit of static electricity," said a fire official. "It's very rare, but it can happen."