Processing Magazine

Overheated air compressor blamed for deadly explosion at paper mill

August 14, 2012

SARTELL, Minn. — The Minnesota state fire marshal’s office announced Monday that an overheated air compressor caused an explosion and fire that killed one employee and injured several others at the Verso Paper Corp. mill in Sartell, Minn., on Memorial Day, reported.

According to a report released by the fire marshal''s office, the overheated compressor ignited oil vapors in an air receiving tank at the mill.

The report also stated that the cooling water supply to the compressor was severely reduced in the hour before the explosion, and that two other compressors had already shut off because of overheating.

The explosion caused an estimated $50 million in damages.