Steel Mills

Fire Fatality at US Steel Great Lakes Works

Written by Sandy Williams

An explosion and fire at the US Steel Great Lakes Works in Ecorse, Mich., has killed a worker and halted steel production. The Ecorse fire department was called to the scene of the fire at 2:50 am on Sunday morning.

US Steel spokesman Courtney Boone said that the explosion occurred at the plant’s steel shop and killed a remote control locomotive operator, Antonio Palazzo, 32. Two other employees were treated for minor injuries. Steel making operations have been interrupted. The incident is currently under investigation by the company, the union and appropriate regulatory agencies.

SMU sources advised that the incident involved the basic oxygen furnace (BOF). As a result of the explosion the BOF is down and the two working blast furnaces at Great Lakes have been put on hot idle.

Great Lakes Works, located on the Detroit River, manufactures hot rolled, cold rolled and coated sheet steels primarily for the auto industry. The facility operates three blast furnaces with an annual raw steelmaking capability of 3.8 million net tons.

U.S.Steel has another blast furnace down for maintenance at Fairfield Works in Alabama.

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