Did you also try to open in notepad or dreamweaver?
I imagine word gives strange characters.
I had a similar problem, and this was the solution for me in the end:
1) Create a new (empty) project file with your desired settings
2) Go to file > import and select the Premiere Pro file that gave you the error (you can import premiere projects)
3) Choose the option to select which sequences to import
4) Select the sequence(s) you need
5) Continue your work in the new project
Probably, the only reason this worked for me was because the sequence giving the error was another sequence than the one I need, but it's worth a try, because it's a relatively simple solution if it works.