Coast Guard Responding to Facility Explosion

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The Coast Guard continues to respond as part of a unified command to an explosion and subsequent fire at the Imperial Sugar Refinery on the Savannah River. The Coast Guard was notified of the incident around 7:30 p.m. on February 7, 2008, shortly after the explosion occurred.

Coast Guard emergency crews from Air Station Savannah, Station Tybee and Marine Safety Unit Savannah patrolled the Savannah River and did not observe any persons in the water. The Coast Guard continues to enforce a safety zone extending from Garden City Container Berth Seven which is downriver from the facility, to the Hoolihan Bridge which is roughly two and a half miles upriver from the facility.

Coast Guard personnel responded to the incident scene and joined a unified command with fire department, facility, and local, state and Federal response agency representatives to manage on-scene operations. Personnel from Marine Safety Unit Savannah also staffed an incident command post to coordinate environmental assessments, vessel traffic management, safety zone patrols and information management.

Impacts of the safety zone include the delay in the sailing of one vessel and the arrivial of two vessels.

The Coast Guard does not have any information relating to the cause of the explosion.

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