IP Explosion Kills Contract Worker

REDWOOD, MS—An explosion rocked International Paper’s Vicksburg, MS, containerboard plant on May 3, killing a contract employee and injuring 17. Four of the injured—also contract workers—remained in critical condition at a burn center in Augusta, GA.

A boiler explosion killed 28-year-old Marcus Broome, who died on the scene of chest injuries. Five others were transported to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, according to the Vicksburg (MS) Post. At press time, one victim had been released while the other four remained in critical condition.

The contract workers had been performing maintenance. More than 300 International Paper employees were at the mill at the time of the blast, but were not injured, the Post reported. Occupational Health and Safety Administration officials told the paper that its investigation could take six months.

The accident has produced a lawsuit from a contract worker who was injured in the boiler blast. The suit, filed by Glen Rankin, 52, names International Paper, several employees and others involved in the manufacture, installation and maintenance of the boiler. Rankin, who was not one of the four workers critically injured, claims he was slammed against a wall by the impact of the blast and is still being treated for severe injuries, his lawyer told the AP.

International Paper said it would not comment on pending litigation.

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