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Sun, Aug 18, 2019 02:47
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Verso paper machine employees evacuate Jay, Maine mill after chemical released

JAY, Maine (From news reports) -- Four contractors at the Verso Androscoggin Mill were taken to a hospital and employees working on paper machines left the mill at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday after a valve was left open and chlorine dioxide gas was released.

Company spokeswoman Kathi Rowzie said the gas was detected by sensors and the four contractors were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

"No one was injured," Rowzie said.

The leak occurred when the valve that was left open as the mill was making a normal transition from unbleached to bleached paper grades on the paper machines, Rowzie said in an email. The valve was immediately closed, the air in the mill was tested and determined to be clear and employees returned to work, she said.

Farmington Fire Rescue Department was on standby at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington in case anyone needed to be decontaminated, Fire Department Capt. Tim Hardy said, noting no one required decontamination.

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