Bodies found after GA sugar refinery blast

February 8, 2008 6:28:31 PM PST
Crews have now recovered four bodies from tunnels beneath a wrecked sugar refinery in Port Wentworth, Georgia. A police official says no attempts will be made to find more bodies until tomorrow, when heavy equipment will be brought in to remove debris.

Anxious families of the night-shift workers at the Imperial Sugar plant have been gathering at a Catholic church across the street and wept as officials relayed grim news from the plant.

Investigators still aren't sure what sparked last night's explosion, but sugar dust is suspected. It can become combustible if it's too dry and builds up a static electric charge. It's so combustible that static electricity, sparks from metal tools or a cigarette can ignite explosions.

More than 30 employees were rushed to hospitals as ambulances lined up a dozen at a time outside the refinery's sole entrance road. Several were airlifted to a burn center in Augusta, 130 miles away.

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