Wreckage smolders after an explosion at the Jay paper mill in April. Sun Journal file photo

JAY — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened an inspection at Pixelle Specialty Solutions LL paper mill on April 17, two days after one of two digesters exploded at the Androscoggin Mill.

A digester turns wood chips into pulp to make paper. When it exploded, partially cooked pulp rained down around the Riley Road mill area.

There were no serious injuries, according to state fire investigators. A couple of people were treated for respiratory problems, Sgt. Joel Davis of the Office of the State Fire Marshal said during a press conference April 15.

There was significant damage to the digester area of the mill.

The mill was able to restart two paper machines on April 23, using pulp from two other mills owned by the Pennsylvania based company and other resources. The paper machines were not damaged, Roxie Lassetter, human resources manager at the mill, said previously.

One machine that had previously been running remained idled.

OSHA conducts inspections of businesses for several reasons. Among the reasons are imminent danger situations, workers complaints, targeted inspections, severe injuries and illnesses, targeted inspections, and referrals of hazards from other federal, state, local agencies or organizations, according to an OSHA fact sheet.

OSHA’s inspection at the mill is ongoing.

The cause of the explosion remains under investigation by state fire investigators and others. The mill also hired a forensic team to try and determine the cause.

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