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Georgia-Pacific explosion kills two

By Staff
From staff and wire reports
Jan. 17, 2002
BUTLER, Ala.  Two construction workers were killed and a dozen other people hospitalized Wednesday one in critical condition  after chemicals leaked from a Georgia-Pacific paper mill.
The 3:30 p.m. hydrogen sulfide leak at the west Alabama facility near Pennington sent five of the county's emergency workers to hospitals, according to Choctaw County Medical Services Director J.W. Cowan.
Cowan said the two men who died and the man who was critically injured worked for a construction company contracting with Georgia-Pacific.
Some of the workers were transported to Riley Memorial Hospital and Rush Foundation Hospital in nearby Meridian, Miss., Cowan said. Others drove themselves to a local hospital.
Hydrogen sulfide is a flammable, poisonous gas characterized by an odor akin to rotten eggs.
The Georgia-Pacific paper mill near Pennington is abut 15 miles north of here. It is one of the largest in Alabama with about 2,000 employees, Cowan said.