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Minnesota paper mill to close following blast and fire

06 August 2012

Verso Paper Corp has said it will not reopen its extensively-damaged paper mill at Sartell, Minnesota, following the May explosion and fire that killed one and injured four workers. This decision means 260 staff will lose their jobs.

The May fire at the Sartell plant killed one and injured four
The May fire at the Sartell plant killed one and injured four

The Memphis-based company said it based its decision on the length of time it would take to rebuild and on market challenges. "The decision is not based lightly," Lyle Fellows, senior vice president of manufacturing for Verso, said at a news conference in Sartell.

Fellows also said the Sartell mill, which is more than a century old, has not been competitive for many years.

Local officials from the Greater St. Cloud Development Corp. will join the city of Sartell in searching for a new use for the site, and Governor Mark Dayton has said he will convene a task force to investigate options for new businesses to relocate there.

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