News, Operations

Fifth Body Found at Sugar Refinery; Three Still Missing

PITTSBURGH — Crews found another body Saturday in the remnants of the Georgia sugar refinery plant devastated by an explosion and fire, raising the death toll to five and leaving three others still missing, officials said.

The body was found near the silos used to store sugar after crews shored up the plant’s wobbly remnants, Fire Chief Greg Long said. Three workers and a supervisor were believed to be missing, but it was not clear whether the body was that of a worker or the supervisor.

The search was expected to be suspended for the night, and resume again today.

Crews re-entered what’s left of the Imperial Sugar Co. refinery after stabilizing the upper floors of a four-story building. They needed access to that building to gain entry to an 80-foot silo that rescuers wanted to search for the men, Chief Long said. Earlier, he said firefighters all but extinguished the fire that had raged in the refinery since the explosion, allowing teams to resume searching for the missing men.

“We have an idea of where they are,” he said. “We didn’t want to collapse anything.”

The chief said he strongly believed the four men were the only people still unaccounted for from Thursday’s blast.