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Explosion, fire reported at Sartell paper mill

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SARTELL, Minn. (AP) — An explosion at a Sartell paper mill caused a major fire in the plant along the Mississippi River.

Sartell city manager Patti Gartland says the explosion was shortly before noon Monday at the Verso Paper Corp. mill. She says authorities don't know what caused it.

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Seven fire departments are helping battle the blaze which Gartland says was 50 percent contained by early afternoon. She says the fire is feeding on large paper bales.

Benton County emergency manager Jim McDermott tells the St. Cloud Times there were injuries but he didn't know how many or how serious. Company representatives could not immediately be reached.

Officials are not worried about chemicals but did warn residents downwind to stay indoors and close windows because of heavy black smoke. Sartell is near St. Cloud.

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Information from: St. Cloud Times, http://www.sctimes.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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