Explosion at sugar refinery in Georgia injures dozens

Other News Materials 8 February 2008 09:13 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - As many as 100 people were injured in an explosion at a sugar refinery in the south-eastern US city of Savannah, Georgia, local media reported Friday.

Savannah Fire Department officials were quoted as saying the explosion happened at 7:30 pm Thursday in the bagging section of the factory.

WTOC-TV in Savannah quoted local police as saying a triage operation had been set up at the scene to treat as many as 100 injuries, many of them critical.

Local hospitals reported no deaths, but 32 patients were in critical condition late Thursday.

Police evacuated some areas near the Imperial Sugar refinery in the Fort Wentworth area of suburban Savannah shortly after the explosion and subsequent fire.

"We heard the explosion and we saw the sparks and the flames shoot up," Joyce Baker, the first emergency responder on the scene, said in a telephone interview.

"The ground shook, my husband was with me and we raced over here. He's a Port Wentworth police officer. I got my trauma bag out and by the time we got out there, there were already 13 people coming out with third degree burns and it was like walking into hell," she said.

Reports said residents as far away Garden City and Levy, in the neighbouring state of South Carolina, heard and in some cases felt the explosion.