Lodge Explosion

By: AP
By: AP

The co-owner of a remote lodge that exploded over the weekend in Delta County, Colorado is recovering in a hospital this evening -- while three members of his extended family are missing and presumed dead in the rubble.

Mike Hughes is listed in serious condition at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction. His injuries haven't been disclosed. His wife Nancy Hughes has been released from the hospital.

Authorities say 12-year-old Leslie Ann Bilbrey, two-year-old Isaac Watkins and 16-year-old Jamie Reade haven't been seen or heard from since the Electric Mountain Lodge blew up on Saturday. The three were last spotted inside -- before the explosion and fire leveled the entire structure.

Family spokesman Dale Harper says Hughes and the three children are all part of the same extended family.

Two other family members, ten- and 12-year-old boys, are hospitalized in fair condition.

All had been attending a family reunion at the lodge.

More than a dozen people were hurt in the blast.

Sheriff Fred McKee says no bodies have been found yet, but says authorities have -- quote -- "declared that the children perished in the explosion."

Searchers are now combing the rubble for bodies, though McKee says it could take several days to locate the children. Some 12 to 18 inches of snow has fallen in the area since Saturday, yet McKee says the debris remains extremely hot under the roof.


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