Wreckage smolders after an explosion at the Jay paper mill in April. Sun Journal file photo

JAY — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is continuing its inspection of the Pixelle Specialty Solutions LLC paper mill that was heavily damaged in an explosion April 17.

Such inspections are to determine if there are imminent dangers, workers complaints, severe injuries and illnesses and referrals of hazards from other federal, state, local agencies or organizations, according to an OSHA fact sheet.

OSHA’s inspection began two days after one of two digesters blew up at the Androscoggin Mill. A digester turns wood chips into pulp to make paper through a process using water and chemicals under high pressure and extreme heat. When the digester exploded it sent partially cooked pulp raining down around the Riley Road mill area and did significant damage to the immediate area.

There were no serious injuries, according to state fire investigators, who continue to look into the cause. A couple of people were treated for respiratory problems, Sgt. Joel Davis of the Office of the State Fire Marshal, said during a news conference April 15.

The mill also hired a forensic team to try to determine the cause.

The mill was able to restart two paper machines April 23, using pulp from two other mills owned by the Pennsylvania-based company and other resources. The paper machines were not damaged, Roxie Lassetter, human resources manager at the mill, said previously.

One machine that had previously been running remained idled.

 


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