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Report: Verso Mill Fire Caused by Overheated Compressor

Report: Verso Mill Fire Caused by Overheated Compressor Click to Enlarge Photo: Brad Veenstra

Aug 13, 2012 at 6:23 pm

SARTELL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota state fire marshal's office says an overheated air compressor caused a deadly Memorial Day explosion and fire at a Sartell paper mill.

According to a report released Monday, the overheated compressor ignited oil vapors in an air receiving tank at the Verso Paper Corp. mill.

REPORT: Read the complete State Fire Marshal Division report on the Memorial Day explosion and fire at the Verso paper mill in Sartell; 8/14/12

The 27-page report says the cooling water supply to the compressor was severely reduced in the hour before the explosion, and that two other compressors had already shut off because of overheating.

Damage from the explosion is estimated at $50 million.

The blast killed one employee and injured a couple of others. Verso announced earlier this month that the mill will not reopen.

Mike Tanner

Posted By Mike Tanner

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