OLD TOWN, Maine — Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Old Town Police Department are investigating a fatal incident that happened Tuesday afternoon at the mill in Old Town.
Karen Billups, assistant area director for OSHA, said Tuesday the agency is preparing to start an investigation into an incident at the Expera mill, which was reported about 2:30 p.m. She said OSHA was told one person was killed.
“We are just starting the investigation,” Billups said, declining to say more about what may have happened.
Expera spokeswoman Addie Teeters said in a brief statement Tuesday afternoon that the person involved in the incident, was a contractor, not a regular mill employee.
The contractor was pronounced dead at the scene, Teeters said in an update Tuesday evening.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the contractor’s family during this difficult time,” she said.
Expera is not releasing any additional information at this time, she said.
Old Town Police Chief Scott Wilcox said early Tuesday evening that the victim’s name, age and hometown are not yet being released because police are still in the process of notifying family members.
Wilcox said that Old Town police and fire personnel were called to the mill about 2 p.m.
In addition to OSHA, the state medical examiner’s office has been notified, he said.
There have been more than 180 fatal occupational injuries in Maine since 2005, according to Maine Department of Labor statistics. Data do not include the number of fatal injuries in 2014 or to this point in 2015, as the report hasn’t been updated.
The formerly shuttered mill was acquired by Expera Specialty Solutions of Kaukauna, Wisconsin, late last year. The company reopened the former Old Town Fuel & Fiber pulp mill in January and began producing pulp again.
All 180 mill employees were rehired and put back to work by Expera, about six months after they got layoff notices from Old Town Fuel & Fiber.
Bangor Daily News writer Dawn Gagnon contributed to this report.