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Norske Skog mill resumes operation after fatalities

AUSTRALIA (From news reports) -- Production was set to resume at the Norske Skog mill in Albury on Thursday, almost a month after the deaths of two of its workers caused by a toxic gas leak.

Milo Forster, general manager of the plant, has said the paper machine at the facility would be switched on Wednesday, following the fibre system today.

A blessing of the site was held this morning by David Poole, industrial chaplain, who has been involved in counselling with the workers who were present when two staff lost their lives in what was thought to be leakage of noxious gas from pulp.

The third worker, 22 year old Tom Johnson, has now recovered, after being admitted to hospital in critical condition.

Lyndon Quinlivan, 37, and Ben Pascall, 28, passed away in hospital following the incident. The three men had been working on top of a 15 metre high tank checking valves when they were apparently overcome by fumes and went into cardiac arrest.

The plant had been closed for an annual maintenance check and remained close after the leak, with a skeleton crew working.

The Norske Skog Albury mill manufactures paper for publishers and commercial printers. The company's Albury mill produces 274,000 tonnes of paper annually which represents about 40 per cent of the newsprint and related grades in Australia annually.

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