Two Dead After Gas Explosion At Albury Paper Mill
Staff at the Norske Skog mill are "devastated" following the deaths of two men, while a third remains in a critical condition.
What you need to know
- Two men have died following a gas tank explosion at a paper mill near Albury
- A third is fighting for his life in hospital
- 150 people were evacuated from the Norske Skog mill following the explosion, and more than a dozen were taken to hospital
Two men are dead after a gas tank explosion at a paper mill near the NSW-Victorian border, while a third worker continuing to fight for life in hospital.
The explosion occurred at the Norske Skog mill at Ettamogah north of Albury on Thursday afternoon, with 150 people evacuated from the site and more than a dozen workers taken to hospital.
Four workers - three Norske Skog staff and a contractor - were on a tank checking valves about 1.30pm after an annual maintenance shutdown.
"They were apparently all overcome, to varying degrees, by a gas, we think it's hydrogen sulphide," Norske Skog Albury mill general manager Milo Foster told the local newspaper, The Border Mail.
One man died at Albury Base Hospital on Thursday after sustaining burns and inhaling gas, while another worker died overnight. NSW Police confirmed on Friday a 37-year-old Lavington man died on Friday morning, while a 28-year-old Wodonga man died on Thursday. A report will be prepared for the coroner.
A third worker remains in a critical condition.
NSW Ambulance acting inspector Rodney Hannon told a media conference on Friday that two men were in cardiac arrest and another was unconscious when paramedics arrived at the plant.
Mr Foster said on Thursday night he and staff were "devastated" by the death.
Another 12 people were taken to hospital for gas inhalation but were expected to be discharged on Thursday night.
SafeWork NSW said it was investigating the incident.
Steve Murphy, NSW state secretary at the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, called the incident a "tragedy".
"Our primary focus at this time is to support our members and their families. Our Union organisers have been on site and remain available to members," he said in a statement.
"We will be working with our union delegates and Safe Work to determine the cause of the incident and will make more comment once the circumstances of this tragedy become clearer."