Georgia Sugar Mill Death Toll Rises to 11

News agencies in Georgia reported Sunday that the death toll from a Feb. 7 explosion at Imperial Sugar's refinery in Port Wentworth, Ga., rose to 11, with the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta reporting another 12 patients there remained in critical condition. A memorial service for family members of victims took place Saturday.

The explosion prompted Democrats on the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee to demand action from the Labor Department to prevent dust explosions such as this one, which is being investigated by OSHA and the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. CSB urged OSHA several years ago to enact a safety standard addressing dust explosions, but the agency has not met that recommendation.

The 59-bed burn center is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It provides updates about patients being treated for injuries suffered in the explosion at its Web site, www.josephmstillburncenter.com. The center treats more than 2,000 patients from throughout the Southeast annually.

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