ATLANTA – A man burned in last week's sugar refinery explosion near Savannah died Thursday in a hospital burn unit, bringing the death toll to at least eight.
Michael Kelly Fields, 40, died at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, Ga., spokeswoman Beth Frits said.
Fourteen people burned during the Feb. 7 explosion at the Imperial Sugar Co. plant in Port Wentworth remained in critical condition, she said. Two others were in serious condition.
Seven people were found dead in the rubble at the plant. One worker was still missing.
Sugar dust is thought to be the cause of the blast. Emergency crews were able to snuff out the fire at the plant's main building Wednesday, but the blaze persisted in thick masses of molten sugar in the refinery's 80-foot silos. Local crews had to call in a specialized team with powerful equipment for help.
The refinery is on a 160-acre site on the Savannah River upstream from Savannah.