Worker injured in explosion at ArcelorMittal steel mill in Indiana
7 November 2018
A worker was injured in an explosion that occurred around 4:30 p.m. Monday at ArcelorMittal’s Indiana Harbor steel mill in East Chicago, Indiana. The explosion ignited a fire that East Chicago firefighters and ArcelorMittal’s in-house fire department took two hours to extinguish, according to press reports. The blast was big enough that smoke was seen billowing outside of the giant steel mill.
East Chicago Fire Chief Anthony Serna told the Northwest Indiana Times that the worker suffered burns from the blast, which occurred in a basic oxygen furnace. The injured worker has been taken to East Chicago Hospital, and at this time neither his condition or identity have been released, nor his proximity to the explosion.
According to ArcelorMittal’s website, the Indiana Harbor mill is the largest integrated steelmaking facility in North America, capable of producing 9.5 million tons of hot-rolled steel annually. The Luxembourg-based corporation, the largest steelmaker in the world, reported $899 million in net earnings in the third quarter, down slightly from $1.2 billion the previous year. The profits have been extracted from workers who have faced relentless speedup, years of wage freezes and cost-cutting measures imposed through the collaboration of the United Steelworkers (USW) union.
USW union locals 1010 and 1011, which cover workers at the Indiana Harbor mill, gave no public comments on the industrial accident nor did they release any information about the injury on their Facebook or website pages. The USW international also ignored the injury on its web page.
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