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CATAWBA, SC (WBTV) -
One person is dead and two others were injured, according to emergency officials, after an accident at a York County paper plant.
The accident happened around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Resolute Forest Products plant in Catawba. This is the old "Bowater" plant along Highway 5 near the Lancaster County border.
County emergency management director Cotton Howell told WBTV that three contractors were doing maintenance on an old decommissioned tank outside the main production area.
Howell believes that some type of chemical leaked into the tank while the men were inside.
Two of the men, who don't work directly for Resolute, were able to get out of the tank. The third man died. One of the two had to be taken to the hospital for his injuries.
Investigators identified Samir Storey, 39, of Monroe, as the man who died at the plant.
No evacuation of the plant was necessary.
Howell told WBTV it is still early in the investigation. York County Emergency Management will had over the investigation to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). York County will assist OSHA with the investigation.
In May 2012, one man was critically burned and three others injured during a chemical leak in a pulping area of the mill. A chemical uses to process wood chips called "white liquor" somehow was released and burned the four employees.
It was the worst accident of its kind in the past 20 years at the plant.
Howell says the two incidents are completely different. One was in an active area of the plant with a chemical pipe rupture, the other was not.
Resolute Forest Products is a member of the Forest Products Association of Canada and is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
The plant employs about 700 people and makes commercial printing papers and market pulp.