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Five Algoma Steel workers burned by molten metal sent to hospital with minor injuries


A reaction set off when molten metal made contact with moisture this week burned 12 workers at Algoma Steel, sending five of them to hospital.

All five have since been released.

In a news release Friday, Algoma said the incident happened Feb.7 around 10 p.m. at the north casthouse of the blast furnace complex.

“The company believes slag made contact with moisture in the hot iron trough,” the release said.

“Twelve workers were impacted by the incident and five were treated at Sault Area Hospital. All five were treated and released.”

A statement from the Ministry of Labour said they were informed about the accident Feb. 9.

“It was reported that 12 workers received burns from liquid metal,” the statement said.

“A ministry inspector has been assigned. As the ministry’s investigation is ongoing, we are not able to share further information at this time.”

"There are risks associated with working with hot metal, and this is a risk. We are reviewing the incident, and the safety precautions around the incident to ensure that these types of incidents are prevented in the future," added Algoma spokesperson Laura Devoni.

The news follows another incident Jan. 20, in which a structure supporting utilities piping at Algoma’s coke-making plant collapsed. No one was injured and the company initially shut down blast furnace operations.

The most recent accident won’t affect the blast furnace recovery and the return to full production remains on track, Algoma Steel said.

Working with molten metal

“The hazards associated with working with molten metal are well known to us and we have comprehensive training and procedures to ensure the safety of our operations,” Algoma CEO Michael Garcia is quoted as saying in the release.

“Our investigation is ongoing to fully understand what happened. Our first and primary concern is the health and safety of our employees and we are thankful for the rapid and professional response of our first responders.”

The company continues to advance on-site repair work as well as a comprehensive investigation into the Jan. 20 incident, the release said.

This is a developing story and CTV News will have more details as they become available.

--With files from journalist Cory Nordstrom Top Stories

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