Investigations Continue Following Blast at Maine Paper Mill

May 18, 2020

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection of the site of a paper mill blast could take several more months.

OSHA has until six months after the date it entered the Pixell Specialty Solutions mill on April 17 to complete the investigation, said Ted Fitzgerald, OSHA spokesman in Boston.

The federal agency is focusing on whether there were violations of workplace safety and health standards.

Investigators from the Maine Fire Marshal’s Office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are also investigating the cause of the blast on April 15.

The blast happened in a massive, kettle-like “digester” where a slurry of wood chips, water and chemicals is transformed into pulp.

Nobody was seriously hurt but the mill was disabled for week. Two paper machines have since restarted using pulp produced at other Pixelle mills in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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