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August 16, 2013

Liberty Mutual closes building

NEW CASTLE — Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. has closed its Wilmington Road building for two days after detecting legionella bacteria on the premises.

Employees were notified by telephone and text message Thursday night that the building would be closed Friday and Saturday.

In a statement released Friday, the company said, “While conducting regular HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system maintenance and testing, one water sample taken from the water cooling tower located on the roof of the building came back positive with legionella bacteria.

“This bacteria can be found occurring naturally in environments that contain warm water such as HVAC cooling towers and large plumbing systems. Based on this test result, we believe the prudent action was to close the building and conduct further testing.”

Liberty Mutual said it immediately contacted the state and county boards of health “to ensure we follow all required reporting and testing procedures.”

It added that because there have been no employee reports of health symptoms the county board of health will monitor the situation “and has advised us that we are taking all appropriate measures in this situation.”

The company said it has notified employees of the closure and will continue to provide them with updated reports as it receives more information.

Employees were given a number to call for further information. Updated information was expected to be provided to employees by Saturday afternoon.

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