Coast Guard Continues Response to Refinery Explosion

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The Coast Guard continues to enforce a safety zone on the Savannah River around the Imperial Sugar Refinery after an explosion rocked the plant Thursday evening.

The safety zone has now been reduced in size on both the upriver and downriver ends. The revised safety zone extends from Garden City Terminal Container Berth 8, which is downriver from the facility, to mile marker 20, which is at the fence line between the Plant Kraft and Atlantic Wood facilities.

No vessel may enter into the safety zone without obtaining permission from the on-scene Coast Guard patrol commander. The Coast Guard is actively monitoring the shore side emergency response efforts and is constantly evaluating information so that portions of the Savannah River can be fully re-opened as quickly as possible.

The Coast Guard has requested the assistance of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a survey of the navigable channel around the facility for objects that may have fallen into the Savannah River. Efforts to conduct this survey are currently in progress.

The Coast Guard is also monitoring environmental response efforts associated with a light oil sheen around the facility. Equipment positioned on the dock at the facility that was observed leaking a petroleum product has been removed stopping the source of the spill. Oil containment boom placed around the facility’s dock has been effective at containing the oil sheen. There is no recoverable oil product at this time.

Coast Guard presence will be maintained at the on-site unified command as needed.

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