Port Mellon, British Columbia, Canada 23 May 2014 -- A mechanical failure in a pump to the chlorine dioxide generation system forced an evacuation at Howe Sound Pulp and Paper (HSPP) on Wednesday afternoon.
Company officials said at no time was the public in any danger.
“As a precautionary measure, we did a full mill evacuation at approximately 1:45 p.m.,” said HSPP manager of human resources Richard Demchuk. “Our response team went in and corrected the problem and we gave the all clear at 3 p.m. There were no injuries, and at no time was there ever any danger to the general public.”
Demchuk said all mill employees followed the proper safety procedures and everyone got out of the mill quickly and safely so the response team could deal with the problem as quickly as possible.
“It was a very localized case and localized to the mill itself,” he said. “From our perspective, everyone did what they were supposed to do and our staff were very professional in the evacuation, so we are certainly happy about that.”
He said the shaft of the pump actually broke, which typically doesn’t happen.
“At this point, we don’t know the actual cause. It might have been metal fatigue. It could take us a few weeks to determine that,” he added.