Disgruntled former worker involved in standoff situation at Verso Paper mill in Jay, Maine, unclear whether holding hostages; all employees reported safe, incident isolated to administration building while work in mill continues

JAY, Maine , March 14, 2012 () – Police are involved in what appears to be an early morning standoff and hostage situation inside Verso Paper.

At 9:50 a.m. officers from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Jay police could be seen outside the mill. A dispatcher at the sheriff’s office was unable to comment.

McCausland told the Bangor Daily News on Wednesay afternoon that state police tactical teams and negotiators were on the scene, but he did not disclose any other information.

“I do not have any updates,” he said. “There’s nothing new to talk about.”

Sources inside the mill have told the Sun Journal the situation involves a disgruntled former worker, who was fired earlier this year.

The man may be inside the mill manager’s office but it remains unclear whether he was alone or holding any hostages.

Radio traffic from local police indicated the man may have a shotgun with him.

But the mill’s communication manager Cherilee Budrick told reporters gathered outside the main gate that all employees were safe.

The mill was in lock-down mode but work was continuing. Budrick said the incident had been isolated to the administration building and that the Maine State Police were handling the situation.

A pickup truck loaded with several officers in military-like uniforms and carrying assault firearms were observed entering the mill’s front gate at about 10:15 a.m., according to a Sun Journal reporter on the scene.

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