U.S. Steel Loses Two Blast Furnaces at Gary Works
The U.S. Steel Gary Works had an accident last week which has resulted in the idling of two of the companies four operating furnaces at the facility.
According to U.S. Steel spokesperson Erin DiPietro, an accident occurred on the “high line” – the rail line upon which raw materials are transported to the blast furnaces via a transfer car. At 12:30 AM last Wednesday a steel girder supporting a bridge collapsed sending a transfer car and its load to the ground 25 feet below. One worker has been hospitalized with fractures.
According to an article in today’s Post-Tribune (Chicago) blast furnaces number 4 and number 8 have been shut down since the accident. The number 4 furnace production capacity daily rate is 4200 short tons per day while the Number 8 furnace is 3300 tons per day. At peak production the potential loss is approximately 7500 tons per day or around 52,500 tons since last Wednesday.
The Post-Tribune article quotes a union representative, "On the No. 4 furnace, they did a pretty extensive inspection with three different engineering firms. I've never seen anything like this before. The more they looked, the more problems they found. The problems they found, they had to correct them before the transfer cars could run on that road," he said. "It's a shame it takes someone almost losing their life for the company to say, 'We're making these repairs,' especially when they say safety is a core value."
OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) is investigating the accident and it is not know how long the investigation will continue.
Steel Market Update has requested more information from the U.S. Steel spokesperson and we will advise our members as soon as we have more information.
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