One Dead, Two Injured Cleaning Tanks at Paper Mill
HODGE, LA—One worker died and two others were injured while doing contracted cleaning work in a tank at the RockTenn paper mill here on Tuesday, The News Star reported. Two of the victims are employed by Deep South Industrial Services and a third by Pulp Mill Services.
Fire and ambulance crews responded to the plant at around 10 a.m. for a confined-space rescue operation, The News Star said. One of the injured was transported to Jackson Parish Hospital and treated for minor burns before being released.
The Pulp Mill Services employee was airlifted to a burn center in Shreveport, LA. His condition was unknown, but a Pulp Mill spokesperson told KNOE-TV that its employee was inspecting the tank and fell into "black liquor," the spent cooking liquor resulting from the kraft process.
Dewey Seymour, executive vice president of Deep South Industrial, told the newspaper that his employees were cleaning the tank, which contained about six inches of liquid. Seymour said the Deep South Industrial workers did not fall into the liquid, but did confirm that one of his employees had died in the incident.
Robin Keegan, director of communications for RockTenn, said that the cause of the incident is under investigation.