‘Nothing short of a miracle’: No one injured in powerful explosion at Jay mill, officials say

An explosion at the Androscoggin Mill in the town of Jay rocked the area Wednesday.The explosion was reported at about noon.Pixelle Specialty Paper Solutions, which owns the mill, said a rupture in a pressure vessel caused the explosion.What caused the failure in what is called a digester is under investigation. A digester uses pressure to turn wood chips into paper pulp.Mill officials said everyone on site was accounted for and there were no injuries as a result of the blast.Pixelle officials said the explosion released a mixture of wood fiber, water and pulping liquor. The environmental impact is under investigation.”We are in the preliminary stages of assessing the situation. First and foremost is our concern for the safety of our employees, contractors, and visitors on our mill site,” the company said in a statement.The Maine Fire Marshal’s Office said no one outside of the mill was injured in the explosion. Some people who suffered respiratory issues were treated and released.Officials said the reason no one was injured was due to the fact no one works directly in the area where the explosion happened.Officials said mill employees are securing the area that was damaged and the fire marshal’s investigation into what happened will begin Thursday.A mill official estimated about 165 workers were at the mill at the time of the explosion.Photos from witnesses showed a large plume of smoke coming from the mill.WMTW News 8 received multiple phone calls from people who felt the explosion. The blast sent debris miles away.

An explosion at the Androscoggin Mill in the town of Jay rocked the area Wednesday.

The explosion was reported at about noon.

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Pixelle Specialty Paper Solutions, which owns the mill, said a rupture in a pressure vessel caused the explosion.

What caused the failure in what is called a digester is under investigation. A digester uses pressure to turn wood chips into paper pulp.

Mill officials said everyone on site was accounted for and there were no injuries as a result of the blast.

Pixelle officials said the explosion released a mixture of wood fiber, water and pulping liquor. The environmental impact is under investigation.

“We are in the preliminary stages of assessing the situation. First and foremost is our concern for the safety of our employees, contractors, and visitors on our mill site,” the company said in a statement.

The Maine Fire Marshal’s Office said no one outside of the mill was injured in the explosion. Some people who suffered respiratory issues were treated and released.

Officials said the reason no one was injured was due to the fact no one works directly in the area where the explosion happened.

Officials said mill employees are securing the area that was damaged and the fire marshal’s investigation into what happened will begin Thursday.

A mill official estimated about 165 workers were at the mill at the time of the explosion.

Jay Mill Explosion

Rebecca Burhoe

Photos from witnesses showed a large plume of smoke coming from the mill.

WMTW News 8 received multiple phone calls from people who felt the explosion. The blast sent debris miles away.