CANTONMENT, Florida (From the News Journal) -- In breaking news overnight, an explosion rocked the International Paper facility in Cantonment Sunday night, 22 Jan 2017, but fortunately, there were no injuries.
Residents as far away as Milton, nearly 20 miles away, reported hearing the loud explosion.
The explosion that covered much of Cantonment in black soot on Sunday night was caused by a "manufacturing process failure."
International Paper released a statement to residents on Monday morning to explain what caused the messy explosion and layer of grime to cover the surrounding area.
"We experienced a manufacturing process failure that released a mixture of wood fiber, water and pulping liquor into the surrounding area. If you or your pets have had contact with the materials, please wash the affected area for 15 minutes with soap and water. If you are experiencing skin irritation or respiratory issues, please see your doctor. Avoid contact with your eyes and mouth.
No one was injured in the explosion, but neighbors near the plant have spent much of the night and morning cleaning up the black liquor. Images and video from the area shows the slimy black substance covering lawns, cars and streets.
International Paper employees were evacuated. There were reports of power outages in the area, and falling ash has been reported.
Join Jim Thompson on the 2nd Annual Papermakers Mission Trip to Guatemala, 22 - 29 July 17. Build houses, talk about the pulp and paper industry. For more information, email email@example.com with "Guatemala" in the subject line.