Authoities say the three children missing since Saturday's explosion at Electric Mountain Lodge near Paonia are presumed dead. Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee said Monday they're no longer attempting a rescue, but a recovery.
The explosion injured 16 people and another three that are now believed to be dead. Crews from the Colorado Bureau of Iinvestigation, the Delta County Sheriff's Department, along with a private company called, Disaster Restoration Inc. were all working at the scene trying to remove debris, and begin searching for the children and determine what exactly caused the explosion.
Initially it was reported the three children belonged to lodge owners Mike and Nancy Hughes, but Monday 11 News learned the Hughes' are actually the grandparents of two of the victims. Officials with the Delta County Sheriff's Office said the third victim is also from the same family.
Sheriff McKee said Leslie Ann Bilbrey, 12, and three-year-old Isaac Watson are two of the missing children. McKee said they are siblings and belong to Anthony and Sara Watkins of Paonia. Officials from the sheriffs office also say the Watkins other son is currently at Saint Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, and their daughter, Ashley was injured but has been treated and released.
The other missing child is Jamie Marie Reade, 16. She is the daughter of James Reade and Stacy Barricks of Kansas City, Missouri. She is the cousin of the other two missing children. Monday, crews are at the lodge going through the rubble and authorities were able to get equipment up to the site.
According to Dale Harper, the family spokesperson, four family members are still currently at Saint Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction. They are Wesley Joe Bilbrey, 10, twelve-year-old Brandon Watkins, and Haley Dawn Watkins, 7. They were all in fair condition. Michael Hughes, 55, was listed in serious condition.
Three of the families were living at the lodge at the time of the explosion and lost all their personal belongings in the fire.
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