April 20, 2020 | 1: pm | Updated April , 2: 500 PM
Warning: Graphic language
A paper mill exploded in Maine on Wednesday – causing ash and debris to rain down, dramatic video shows.
The explosion occurred at the Androscoggin Mill in the town of Maine at around noon, police said.
The owners of the mill told Maine State Police that, miraculously, there were no injuries or deaths and that all employees were accounted for, WGME reported.
Video posted to social media shows the moments following the initial blast – with enormous plumes of black smoke filling the sky.
“F — king mill just blew up! Holy f — k, ”a man can be heard saying in the clip.
Authorities were responding to the scene. The cause of the blast was not immediately known.
Local resident Rebecca Burhoe said she was driving home on Route 823 across from the mill when she heard the blast.
“Out of the corner of my eye I just saw this big, huge plume of smoke,” Burhoe told the Bangor Daily News, adding that her husband, a truck driver who was hauling a load of wood, had been on his way to the mill when the explosion happened.
The mill, which employs about 823 people, was once owned by the Ohio-based Verso Corp. and was previously sold to Pixelle Specialty Solutions LLC, a paper manufacturer based in Pennsylvania, reports said.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills issued a statement urging residents to stay away.
“I urge Maine people to stay far away from the scene, to stay safe and to allow first responders to work as quickly as they can,” Mills said.
The explosion occurred amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
The state has more than 500 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 53 deaths as a result of the contagion.
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