A slag explosion in ArcelorMittal’s East Chicago plant injured three contract workers last Friday. According to a factory representative at the Indiana Harbor East plant, the accident was the result of an eruption at the factory’s slag processor at the No. 7 blast furnace. One of the injured workers was taken to a local medical facility while the two others were airlifted to a Chicago hospital burn unit. Nick Dvorscak, assistant chief of the East Chicago Fire Department, reported that the fire was put out by the time his crew arrived to the scene. Dvorscak said that one worker suffered from severe burns while another was hit with a piece of shrapnel. The identities and conditions of the injured workers have not been released.
President of United Steelworkers Local 1010 Mike Hargrove reports that the union is participating in an investigation of the incident. Hargrove says that the union involved itself in the investigation in an attempt to avoid similar instances in the future. The union represents the plant’s hourly workers and not the contractors that were injured in the explosion. The injured contract workers are employed by subcontractors for Lafarge Slag which uses the waste by-product material to make concrete. Lafarge officials were unable to be reached regarding the explosion.