JAY — Four contractors at Androscoggin Mill were taken to a hospital and employees working on paper machines were evacuated Wednesday morning after a valve was left open and chlorine dioxide gas was detected, according to Verso Corp. spokeswoman Kathi Rowzie.

The gas was detected by sensors in the mill.  Evacuating the employees and sending the contractors to the hospital were both precautionary measures, she wrote in an email.

“No one was injured,” according to Rowzie.

Employees were evacuated at about 9:30 a.m.

The release of the chlorine dioxide gas occurred as the result of a valve that was left open as the mill was making a normal transition from unbleached to bleached paper grades on the paper machines, Rowzie wrote.

The valve was immediately closed, the air in the mill was tested and determined to be clear, and employees returned to work, she wrote.

Farmington Fire Rescue Department was on stand-by at the hospital in case anyone needed to be decontaminated, which no one did, fire department Capt. Tim “TD” Hardy said.

Hardy’s father, Tim Hardy, director of Franklin County Emergency Management Agency, said he went to the hospital and communicated with mill officials and Mike Senecal, the emergency preparedness coordinator at FMH.

Hardy said he wanted to make sure they had all of the information needed, including how many people to expect at the hospital, what happened and what their symptoms were.

Hardy confirmed there were four people brought to hospital.

An incident report will be submitted to Hardy either Thursday or Friday, which is standard protocol for any type of chemical incidents at the mill, Hardy said.

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