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Thu, Jan 17, 2019 22:54
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Contractors killed in PCA DeRidder explosion identified

DERIDDER, Louisiana (From KTBS) -- The three men who died in an explosion at a DeRidder paper mill have been identified.

According to the Beauregard Sheriff's Office, the dead are: William Rolls Jr., 32; Jody L. Gooch, 40; and Sedrick Stallworth, 42.

Officials said Rolls is from Louisiana, but he's not certain which town. Gooch is from Texas. He said they have not been able to verify Stallworth's hometown. All three men were contractors working at the plant.

It was reported that six of the seven people injured in the explosion have been released from hospitals. Those six sustained what authorities described as minor injuries. One person, who sustained moderate injuries, remains hospitalized Thursday, State Police said.

A tank at the Packaging Corporation of America exploded Wednesday morning while three contractors were working on it, State Police said.

PCA issued a statement late Wednesday:

"At approximately 11:10 am CST, Wednesday, February 8th, there was an explosion at our DeRidder, LA paper mill. The incident involved annual repair work being performed on piping in the pulp mill area and resulted in three contractor fatalities. The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Our primary concern is for the safety and well-being of the people working on our site. The top priorities at this time are the notification of families of the deceased contractors and investigation of the incident with authorities.

At the time of the incident, the D1 machine was down for its annual outage and the D3 machine was running and continues to operate. The current assessment indicates that the annual outage work is expected to be delayed by up to one week and the mill will then resume full operation. Further information will be provided, as appropriate, when it becomes available."


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 with "Guatemala" in the subject line.

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