Employee dies after falling into pulper machine at Georgia-Pacific paper mill

    Big Island Georgia-Pacific (WSET)

    UPDATE 11:30 PM

    ABC13 has learned that the fatal paper mill incident in Big Island occurred at the number four paper machine pulper at Georgia-Pacific.

    Big Island Fire Department, Bedford Fire Department and the Forest Volunteer Fire Department were among the emergency crews who responded to the scene.

    A spokesperson with the paper mill says they are not yet releasing the employee's name because they are still in the process of notifying his or her family.

    On behalf of Georgia-Pacific, the spokesperson released the following statement:

    "Our first priority is with that employee's family and with our employees. Safety is Georgia-Pacific's top priority and we are working to ensure the safety of the mill employees."

    Georgia-Pacific says they are cooperating with authorities and are beginning the investigation into what caused the accident.

    UPDATE: 9:50 PM

    An employee at the Big Island Georgia Pacific paper mill fell into a pulper machine and died, according to emergency crews.

    We're told that some employees witnessed the individual fall into the machine but were unable to push the emergency stop button quick enough. One employee called the situation "horrific."

    Emergency crews say the situation is a recovery effort and that the employee was pronounced "dead on arrival."

    Emergency crews say they will be on scene for several hours, possibly through the night, because they will need to take apart the machine to extract the body.

    This tragic news follows on the heels of a big year for the Georgia-Pacific paper mill, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in January.



    BEDFORD Co., Va. (WSET) -- Emergency crews are responding to an incident at the Georgia-Pacific Corporation paper mill in Big Island, according to dispatch.

    Right now, we're hearing reports that a worker may have fallen into a paper pulper machine and that it is a "recovery" effort for first responders.

    We're working to get more information. Our Marissa Parra was the first on the scene.

    Stay with ABC13 New for updates.

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