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Abandoned pulp mill on Vancouver Island demolished

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Demolition efforts are underway at a decommissioned pulp mill on the north end of Vancouver Island.

On Wednesday, a controlled implosion brought down the abandoned pulp mill's recovery boiler building in Port Alice, B.C.

Video of the event shows the base of the structure implode before the rest of the building comes tumbling down.

The now-defunct Neucel pulp mill in Port Alice has been a prickly topic for the community since it ceased operation in 2015.

In 2019, the Chinese-owned mill was officially shut down, leaving some workers in the lurch without final severance pay.

After the mill closed, its owners seemingly abandoned the site, forcing the province to step in and hire a contractor to decommission the mill, which was home to multiple environmental hazards.

That too was a sore spot, however, with some local residents saying they should have been hired to complete the job, which they estimated cost more than $10 million.

In February 2020, Port Alice Mayor Kevin Cameron told CTV News he had been told the owners of the mill would be sent a bill for the cleanup, but he said he wasn't confident that would happen, or that they would pay.

With files from Gord Kurbis and Ian Holliday.

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