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Dozens hurt in US sugar refinery blast

At least 42 people were injured on Thursday when an explosion ripped through a sugar refinery in the US state of Georgia, a Savannah fire department spokesman told AFP.

world Updated: Feb 08, 2008 20:12 IST

At least 42 people were injured on Thursday when an explosion ripped through a sugar refinery in the US state of Georgia, a Savannah fire department spokesman told AFP.

More than 100 people were inside a building in which the sugar is packed into bags at the Imperial Sugar Co. near Savannah when the blast took place at around 7:30 pm, said Captain Matthew Stanley, the fire department spokesman.

The cause of blast remains unknown, he said.

"Right now we're reporting roughly 42 injuries, some of those critical," Stanley said, adding that most of the injuries were burns.

"Fortunately we are reporting no fatalities at this time," he added.

Five to six people remain unaccounted for, Stanley said.

"We know that there are some people that are still unaccounted for but we don't know if they're in the building," he said, adding that rescue crews were searching the building "just to be on the safe side."

Firefighters were still battling blazes in the four- to five-story building, which is part of the refinery's huge industrial complex, Stanley said.

The explosion could be heard throughout the community and across the river in neighboring South Carolina, he said.