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9 hospitalized in Sweden after paper mill accident

Staff Writer |
Several workers complained of chest pain and breathing difficulties after an apparent chlorine dioxide leak at the Iggesund Paperboard plant in Hudiksvall, eastern Sweden.

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The chlorine dioxide emission occurred around midnight on Saturday when maintenance work was carried out in one of the paper mill's towers, Swedish Television reported on Sunday.

According to an Iggesund Paperboard press spokesperson, Staffan Sjoberg, one person was brought to hospital by ambulance while eight workers went by taxi. "All but one were able to leave the hospital by 3 a.m.," said Sjoberg.

Sjoberg said that the chlorine dioxide is used to bleach cardboard, but he did not want to speculate about the potential causes behind the leak. However, he said that there will be an inquiry into the matter and maintained that the company routinely trains in-house and external staff in accident prevention.

"It is very important," said Sjoberg. "At a work halt like this one we can have 800 external entrepreneurs on site."

According to Swedish Television, the incident is being investigated as a work-place accident and as an incident causing grievous bodily harm.

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