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Imperial Sugar ready to rebuild

POSTED: October 23, 2008 5:00 a.m.

PORT WENTWORTH -- Imperial Sugar is ready to start rebuilding portions of its Georgia plant devastated by a deadly explosion eight months ago.

The Texas-based company plans to break ground on the project Wednesday. The refinery's three towering storage silos were damaged beyond repair in the Feb. 7 blast and its packaging plant was destroyed. The explosion killed 14 workers and injured dozens more.

Imperial Sugar hopes to finish the new construction by the summer of 2009.

Investigators determined the explosion was caused by sugar dust igniting like gunpowder. The federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration in July recommended $8.7 million in fines against the company.

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