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Explosion at IP facility: Significant structural damage to largest pulp digester as well as power house

CANTONMENT, Florida (From the NorthEscambia.com) -- International Paper officials said Monday that their Cantonment mill experienced significant structural damage to the largest pulp digester as well as the power house during an explosion Sunday night. There were no injuries.

The incident released a mixture of wood fiber, water and pulping liquor into the surrounding community.

In a statement, IP said, "Currently, the mill is not operating. We are assessing the extent of the damage to the mill, evaluating supply options and will be working closely with our customers to meet their needs."

Response teams are working with local, state and federal agencies to provide information for those impacted. The company has entered into a "Unified Command" with Escambia County EMA, Escambia County Public Safety, Florida Department of Health, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the EPA. The command worked Tuesday to clear roadways, assess impacted areas, provide direct outreach to more than 40 residents and implement a remediation plan.

IP has hired contractors to develop and implement plans to clean up and dispose of the discharged material as quickly as possible. The company said they are providing all necessary support and resources to the local community and residents as the cleanup continues.

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