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Portions of ND Paper mill in Rumford evacuated after chlorine gas buildup

The Rumford mill reportedly lost power Friday afternoon.

RUMFORD, Maine — Portions of a paper mill in Rumford were evacuated after chlorine gas built up during a power outage at the facility Friday afternoon. 

The ND Paper mill on Hartford Street lost power at 2:20 p.m., according to ND Paper Director of Communications Jay Capron.

Rumford Fire Chief Chris Reed told NEWS CENTER Maine lighting either struck the mill directly or in the surrounding area. The rest of the town did not reportedly lose power. 

During the outage, chlorine was still being made in part of the mill, causing gas to build up with nowhere to go, Reed said. 

Once the power was restored, an exhaust fan kicked back on, sending a large, green cloud of chlorine gas into the air, Reed added. Crews responded to the scene at approximately 3:42 p.m. and monitored the gas. 

Portions of the mill were evacuated "as a precaution," Capron said. 

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection was notified of the incident and remains at the scene. 

Rumford fire, ND Paper, and a hazmat team worked together seamlessly, Reed said. 

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