Accident at AV Cell's dissolving pulp mill in Atholville, New Brunswick, kills one man, injures two others, after contract workers fell about 30 feet from a catwalk; incident being investigated by Worksafe NB

LOS ANGELES , October 3, 2011 () – An accident involving contract workers at AV Cell Inc.’s dissolving pulp mill in Atholville, New Brunswick, on Sept. 29 has caused the fatality of one man and badly injured two others, said an official of Worksafe NB in the Northeast Region, reported the Times & Transcript on Oct. 1.

The men were all on a catwalk working to repair the mill’s ceiling when “something let go,” and the men fell 30 feet to the floor, said Fidèle Cormier, Worksafe NB’s assistant director.

The men, employees of Val Landry & Sons Roofing Ltd. of Campbellton, New Brunswick, were not repairing the catwalk, which is a “permanent structure” of the mill, he said, the Times & Transcript reported.

The catwalk was used to access pipes near the ceiling but not very often, said Cormier. The investigation by Worksafe NB is expected to be “ongoing for quite a while,” he said.

AV Cell said it would cooperate in the investigation, according to a statement the company issued on Sept. 30. A spokesperson could not be reached for comment, reported the Times & Transcript.

AV Cell is owned by Aditya Birla Group of India, which also owns 95% of the AV Nackawic Inc. pulp mill in Nackawic, New Brunswick. The AV Cell mill supplies 119,000 tonnes per year of dissolving-grade chemical pulp to its viscose staple fibre units in India, according to the company’s website.

Following the accident, the three injured men were rushed to a local hospital. The two who survived the fall had “serious” injuries, according to Cormier, who did not release any of the names, the Times & Transcript reported.

The primary source of this article is the Times & Transcript, Moncton, New Brunswick, on Oct. 1, 2011.

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