By ‘grace of God,’ no one was injured in a massive explosion at the Androscoggin Mill in Jay, Maine, earlier today, reports the Bangor News.
A bystander's video can be viewed in its original form here on Facebook.
A large explosion severely damaged the Androscoggin Mill in Jay on Wednesday morning, causing wood pulp to rain down on the surrounding area.
Amazingly, no bystanders were harmed in the incident, which sent a large plume of smoke and debris into the sky that was visible for miles around.
“It’s nothing short of a miracle,” Androscoggin Mill spokeswoman Roxie Lassetter said Wednesday at a press briefing.
There was no one near the site of the explosion, Lassetter said. Some people on site were experiencing respiratory issues following the explosion, but were treated and released, according to Joel Davis from the fire marshal’s office. The explosion occurred inside of the mill’s digester, which is where wood is broken down using water and a chemical to create pulp. Lassetter said it is not immediately clear what caused the malfunction that led to the explosion.
And from the Associated Press:
A rising cloud of smoke that was recorded by a bystander was followed by raining debris that made bullet-like noise as it struck cars in the area. Video recorded after the explosion showed extensive damage to the mill, which employs about 500 people and is a key piece of rural Maine’s economy.
Emergency responders rushed to the mill, and the state fire marshal planned an investigation. The cause wasn’t clear to investigators, and the investigation will likely begin in earnest on Thursday, as the scene was still being secured, police said.