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Most Workers Laid Off at Fire-Damaged Sartell Paper Mill

Steven Sohlstrom, FlightFlash.com

SARTELL  (AP) — Verso Paper has sent layoff notices to a large portion of its Sartell workforce after a devastating Memorial Day explosion and fire.

A spokesman for Verso says a “clear majority” of the mill’s 259 hourly and salaried workers has been laid off.

Spokesman Bill Cohen says a fraction of the staff remains involved in determining what would be required if the plant were to reopen. The mill likely will remain idle into the fall.

The explosion killed one person and injured four others. Much of the warehouse that was the site of the fire has been dismantled.

Verso has reported more than 5,000 tons of finished paper and work-in-process inventory were destroyed. That could have a value of $5 million, based on industry costs.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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