Update: One dead, five injured in explosion and fire at Verso Paper mill in Sartell, Minnesota
May 28, 2012
– Industry Intelligence Editor’s Note: An earlier posting today about the explosion and fire at the mill has been updated with the news that a person was killed and that five others were injured.
One person was killed and five others were injured in an explosion and fire on May 28 at the Verso paper mill in Sartell, Minnesota, the St. Cloud Times reported on the same day.
An official with Verso Paper, Pat Gibney, said an air compressor exploded.
A full shift was on duty at the time.
Neighbors reported hearing a loud booming noise late in the morning. Flames leaped on the roof and there was heavy black smoke, much of which was caused by smoldering paper bales, pouring out of the center area of the mill. The fire was in an area of wood products.
At a 7 p.m. CST news conference. Sartell City Administrator Patti Gartland said the fire had been 90% contained.
Another news conference is scheduled for 8 a.m. on May 29.
The identity of the deceased victim was being withheld until family was notified.
Four of the five injured victims were hospitalized; three were treated and released and one was still being treated, the St. Cloud Times reported. There was no available information on the fifth person.
A structural engineer is to inspect the scene to assure that the affected building is safe for responders.
The primary source of this article is the St. Cloud Times newspaper, St. Cloud, Minnesota, as carried in the newspaper and on KARE-TV in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 28, 2012.