5 Workers Hurt in Fire, Explosion at Oklahoma Paper Mill

May 15, 2019

Officials say a fire and subsequent explosion at a Georgia-Pacific paper mill in eastern Oklahoma injured five workers and left two firefighters with heat exhaustion.

Muskogee County Emergency Medical Service operations director Ron Morris says four injured workers were taken to a hospital with smoke inhalation and undisclosed “minor trauma.” A fifth worker was treated at the scene.

Georgia-Pacific spokeswoman Karen Cole said two people were still hospitalized Tuesday in stable condition.

The fire and explosion that followed occurred shortly before 10 p.m. Monday at the Georgia-Pacific plant in Muskogee, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Tulsa.

Fire Chief Mike O’Dell said the fire began when a hydraulic line on a propane-fueled fork lift ruptured, spraying fluid that ignited on the propane tank. O’Dell said the two firefighters with exhaustion were treated at the scene.

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