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Explosion at Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel Mill in Pueblo injures seven

PUEBLO, Colo. -- UPDATE: According to Assistant Fire Chief Keith Miller of the Pueblo Fire Department, three of the seven workers injured in the explosion incident at the EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel Mill are in critical condition. The remaining four are stable.

Asst. Chief Miller says dispatch initially told fire crews the fire was at the steel mill — on arrival they discovered it was an electric arc furnace inside the mill that had exploded.

Asst. Chief Miller called this a "rare event."

Fire from the exploded furnace was on three different levels of the building. Asst. Chief Miller says crews are waiting until the steel cools off to safely return to the affected area.

Stay with KRDO — we will continue to update this article as additional details come in.

ORIGINAL:
Water going through an electric arc furnace at the Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel Plant in Pueblo caused an explosion, injuring seven employees.

The call came is around 6pm Saturday.

According to David Light, Vice President of Pueblo Operations for Evraz, the seven injured were taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries. He described their injuries as "cuts and scrapes."

Light described the incident as a release of energy. Water went into an electric arc furnace, causing a reaction to the liquid steel, then causing the explosion. An electric arc is a large piece of machinery used to melt scraps of steel, commonly used in the steel-making process.

Courtesy: Adam Harvey

Light says the Evraz Fire Protection Unit are on scene, and American Medical Response also responded.

This incident is still under investigation. Stay with KRDO for updates and additional information.

KRDO Breaking News / Pueblo
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Natalie Haddad

Natalie is a traffic reporter and MMJ for Good Morning Colorado and KRDO. You can learn more about her here.

Comments

3 Comments

  1. “A sudden release of energy”. That would be a good definition of an explosion. Water coming into contact with molten steel would instantly turn to steam and the expanding steam would throw molten steel in every direction. Prayers for the injured.

    1. Good concise description. The question is how water “went into the furnace”. That’s clearly something that would not happen under normal conditions, so it sounds like either human error or a mechanical failure (not many alternatives left!).

  2. Did some reading on the arc furnaces and some have some type of water cooling system. That would explain the water being there but not how it got to the molten steel.

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