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Thu, Jun 20, 2019 03:50
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Irving Paper shuts down mill over butane gas detected in the air

SAINT JOHN, New Brunswick (From news reports) -- Butane gas was detected in the air at Saint John's Irving Paper mill on Wednesday night, leading to the evacuation and shut down of mill operations, and the neighboring Irving Wallboard facility.

Mary Keith, a spokesperson for J.D. Irving Ltd., said workers were alerted to odours and alarms at about 8:30 p.m.

"The Saint John Fire Department and Irving Oil officials completed testing at the Irving Paper mill and have confirmed safe levels," Keith said in a statement.

Irving Paper will continue testing of the air quality Thursday, and the mill remains down.

People in day shift operations, technical and maintenance employees were asked to stay home until the situation was resolved.

Operations at Irving Wallboard resumed Thursday morning.

Drivers in east Saint John spent another morning navigating around the road closure on Bayside Drive between the Courtney Bay Causeway and Red Head Road, and 65 people spent a third night in a hotel.

Emergency crews continue the remediation work on the four-inch-diameter line that runs from Irving Oil's Saint John East Terminal to the Irving Oil refinery.

"The area immediately around the spill, there's still some stuff on the ground that's got to be dealt with, so there will be three or four houses that will be the last ones to have people moved back into them," said Platoon Chief Brian Wilson, the incident commander at the site overnight. "That's what the plan is for the morning, is to do an assessment of the homes in the area with safety being the primary concern."


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