5 hospitalized after explosions at U.S. Steel facility near Zug Island
Updated on August 2, 2017 at 7:19 AM Posted on August 1, 2017 at 3:45 PM Several employees were injured in an overnight explosion Monday, July 31 at U.S. Steel's Great Lakes Works in River Rouge. (MLive file photo)
By Darcie Moran
RIVER ROUGE, MI - Several workers were injured in an overnight explosion at U.S. Steel Corp.'s Great Lakes Works facility in River Rouge.
The River Rouge Fire Department was called about 11:30 p.m. Monday, July 31 to the U.S. Steel facility near Zug Island for a reported explosion, River Rouge fire Capt. Marvin Dotson said.
The situation was under control with employees already transported to the hospital when firefighters arrived, he said.
Five workers were transported to local hospitals for treatment following the incident at the facility's Hot Strip Mill, according to a statement from U.S. Steel issued Tuesday, Aug. 1.
Of the employees that were injured, two remained hospitalized Tuesday, according to the statement. One employee was treated and released at the plant's on-site medical care facility.
Information on the nature of the explosion was not immediately available. U.S. Steel will work with United Steelworkers and government agencies while the incident remains under investigation, according to the company statement.
Five people were injured in an explosion late Monday night at U.S. Steel’s Great Lakes Works facility.
The incident occurred just before midnight at one of the company’s facilities on Great Lakes Street, near Zug Island in River Rouge.
The River Rouge Fire Department was sent to the scene to back up the company’s own fire department.
River Rouge Fire Chief Roberto Cruz was unavailable Tuesday afternoon, but shortly after the incident the department confirmed that two people were injured in the explosion at the steel plant, and were taken to the burn unit at Detroit Receiving Hospital for medical treatment.
United States Steel Corporation released a statement regarding the incident:
“Earlier today, there was an incident at U. S. Steel’s Great Lakes Works in the facility’s Hot Strip Mill. Five employees were transported to local hospitals for treatment. Two remain hospitalized at this time. One employee was treated and released at the plant’s on-site medical care facility.”
Meghan Cox, a spokeswoman in U.S. Steel Corporation’s corporate communications office, said that due to privacy laws the company cannot provide any additional information about the employees who were injured, or their conditions.
She said the scene is secure and other employees have been accounted for. Operations at the Hot Strip Mill remain down, but additional operations at Great Lakes Works have not been affected.
The company does not anticipate any impact on customer shipments, as it has additional hot strip mill capacity at other domestic U.S. Steel facilities, if needed.
At no point did the company refer to the incident as an “explosion.”
The News-Herald asked for clarification on the nature of the incident.
“It was a safety incident involving our operations,” Cox said.
She said an investigation is underway and the company will work closely with United States Steelworkers and relevant government agencies throughout the process.
“We have also activated our Employee Assistance Program to offer its services to the injured employees and their families, as well as the coworkers of those injured,” the company stated in the press release. “Our thoughts are with our injured employees, their families and their coworkers at Great Lakes Works.”
At least five employees were taken to the hospital Tuesday after an explosion at United States Steel Corp.'s Great Lakes Works facility in Michigan.
Two of the employees, all of whom were not identified by U.S. Steel (NYSE: X), were hospitalized.Their conditions weren't immediately available, but they reportedly suffered burns and lacerations. Three others were treated at the hospital and one other employee was treated at the Great Lakes Works' facility. All were brought to the scene by the steel mill's fire department.
Officials said that the explosion left a 30-foot-by-60-foot section of wall at the Hot Strip Mill missing. The Hot Strip Mill was inactive after the blast but the rest of the Great Lakes Works operations continue.
"We do not anticipate any impact on customer shipments as we have additional Hot Strip Mill capacity at other domestic U. S. Steel facilities, if needed," U.S. Steel said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
Great Lakes Works is located in Ecourse and River Rouge, Mich. It includes the 80-inch hot strip mill, and 80-inch pickle line and a 73-inch hot-dip galvanizing line, among other features.