Updated: 05/29/2012 10:58 PM
Created: 05/29/2012 5:10 PM KSTC45.com | Print Story
By: Beth McDonough
Verso Paper has been around since Sartell became a city in 1907. It's the area's second largest employer and its highest property taxpayer. Hundreds of workers fear that in addition to the one death and four people injured, their jobs might become casualties of the blast, too.
Generation after generation of Cindy Stang's relatives - 30 in all - have relied on Verso Paper to make a living. She says the plant is the heart of Sartell.
The blast rocked her home and the worlds of hundreds of employees. The workers worry the mill might shut down after this because paper isn't as important anymore with the advent of computers. The sheer size of the plant tells you how big of an impact the facility has on the area.
Right now, the cause for concern is the explosion; last year it was the economy. The mayor confirms 175 jobs were lost at the mill in 2011. And since 2009, the workforce here has been cut in half from 500 to 260. As crews work to save the building, longtime employees hope their jobs will be spared as well.