Second worker dies, third still fighting for life following gas leak

UPDATE at 3:30 PM on FRIDAY | A SECOND person has died and a third is still fighting for their life in hospital following a deadly gas leak at a paper mill on the NSW-Victoria border.

Fifteen employees of the Norske Skog mill in Ettamogah, Albury, needed to be taken to hospital on Thursday afternoon after being overcome by hydrogen sulfide fumes.

Three of the workers were transported in critical conditions. Sadly, one of them, a 28-year-old man, was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at hospital, while a second 36-year-old man died overnight.


A 22-year-old man remained in a critical condition, fighting for his life in hospital on Friday.

As many as 150 workers were evacuated from the paper mill while firefighters ventilated the building.

There are reports the leak may have been caused by an explosion, the cause of which is not known.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, WorkSafe NSW Manager Scott Kidd said initial investigations have suggested the gas may have been hydrogen sulfide.

“The fallout from yesterday is consistent with that type of gas,” he said.

“There is no doubt this will be a long and complex investigation that could take a matter of months.

“It’s going to hit home to a lot of local people and we’re calling on the community to come together at such a tragic time.”

FIRST on THURSDAY | ONE man is dead and fourteen others have been taken to hospital – two of them in a critical condition –  following a gas leak at a paper mill on the NSW-Victoria border.

The men are believed to have been working at the Norske Skog paper mill in Ettamogah, Albury when they inhaled the toxic gas around 3pm on Thursday.

It’s understood fifteen employees were taken to hospital, three of whom were in a critical condition. Sadly, one of them could not be saved and has since passed away.

The Ettamogah paper mill was evacuated while firefighters moved in and ventilated the building.

It’s the second major incident at the paper mill in as many months after a large fire destroyed around 300 tonnes of recyclable paper at the factory on April 23.

WorkSafe Victoria is investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

No further information was available at the time of writing.