Steel Plant Accident Kills 2, Injures 13

Reuters reports an accident at a steel plant in Shanghai has killed two workers and injured 13 others. The plant is owned by , one of China’s largest steel companies:

Two workers were killed and 13 injured when a furnace at a steel plant owned by Baoshan Iron & Steel (Baosteel) fell, spilling molten iron, the third fatal incident at a Baosteel plant this year.

The workers were clearing slag from the structure when the furnace fell at the plant in the Baoshan district of , Baosteel said in a brief statement posted on its microblog site late on Monday.

According to the Global Times, the injured workers mainly suffered from burns:

The overturned molten metal, which had been heated to 1,600 C, killed two of the workers instantly, Shanghai Television Station reported.

The 13 injured workers arrived at the hospital around 10 am, said Qin Yan, a spokeswoman at the hospital. “Six of them are in critical condition. They have burns over large areas of their bodies and have suffered inhalation injuries,” Qin told the Global Times Monday afternoon. “The other patients have been stabilized.”

The most seriously wounded patient has burns over 99 percent of his or her body, according to The other five have burns over 20 percent to 50 percent of their bodies.
Deslagging is a steelmaking process in which the metal is purified, said Yang Yitao, deputy director of the Department of Materials Engineering at Shanghai University. In this process, workers scatter an agent on the surface of molten metal to absorb impurities, which solidify so workers can manually remove them.

China Daily reports that the Shanghai Administration of Work Safety said it sent an investigation team, which included members of the labor union and police:

Liu Yanqi, an analyst specialized in the iron and steel industry at Haitong Securities in Shanghai, said the accident was Baosteel’s “most serious accident so far this year”.

“Related furnaces will work on shifts, which is estimated to cut production capacity by 20,000tons of crude steel a day.”

In July, a heat-supply vehicle at Baosteel Development Co in Shanghai exploded next to the canteen of a residential block, killing one person and seriously burning another.

In February, at its Meishan Steel Plant in East China’s Jiangsu province, six workers were killed and three critically injured after a gas explosion.

Read more about work safety in China, via CDT.

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