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Mill worker makes remarkable recovery

Thursday, 07 June 2018
By Graham Osborne
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Norske Skog’s mill at Ettamogah near Albury, NSW.

A 22-year-old worker who remained critically ill on life support for more than a week after two of his colleagues died in a gas leak at Norske Skog’s Albury newsprint mill has made “remarkable progress” and was discharged from hospital yesterday.

 

The family of Tom Johnson, who maintained a bedside vigil at the Critical Care Unit at Albury Hospital, issued a statement earlier this week thanking hospital staff.

 

Tom has made remarkable progress over the past week. It has been a gruelling 11 days and for Tom we have had the best possible outcome. Our family extends our deepest sympathies to Ben and Lyndon’s families and friends. Our thoughts and Tom’s thoughts are with you all.

We would like to thank the ICU staff for their patience and understanding and for taking care of Tom and the family.

 

36-year-old Lyndon Quinlivan and Ben Pascall, 28, died on May 24 after inhaling the toxic fumes following a gas leak at the Norske Skog site in Ettamogah near Albury on the Victoria-NSW border.

 

A SafeWork NSW investigation into the incident is continuing. “Initial inquiries indicate the men were working in the basement area of the mill when they were overcome by Hydrogen Sulfide gas (H2S) and collapsed,” said a spokesperson.

 

SafeWork NSW says it is preparing a report for the Coroner.

 

184 people are employed at the newsprint production mill, which has been shut down since the incident.

 

 

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