Wednesday, May 18, 2016

"Staff left shaken by fire"....but alive.

Long ago incidents would occur and no one other than plant workers and nearby residents would know. No longer, smart phones have made it easy for anyone to take a photo or video and post it on social media platforms immediately. Here is a recent incident.

Staff at Avon Metals in the United Kingdom have been left shaken by a fire that has ripped through the foundry at the works one morning during the week of May 1, 2016.

"We have 50 staff on the site and three foundries. It looks like it was one of the foundries which caught fire next to our offices. We don't know exactly what has happened yet, but the damage looks extensive, said an aluminium company spokeperson”.

The fire is believed to have started in the foundry at 9.15am and all workers were immediately evacuated.

Fire crews have the blaze under control but are completely surrounding the building to prevent the fire spreading.


The aluminium company announces it is back in business after surviving devastating furnace fire.

Prompt action helped save lives and the jobs of 50 staff at the aluminum company yesterday after the firm's headquarters went up in flames.

For those who witnessed the fire and the thick smoke from the metal-smelting firm off that the building can be saved will seem amazing.

That the boss of the firm, a winner of the Queen's Award for Enterprise, is able to announce it should be 'business as usual' from today will seem even more incredible.


The managing director of the international business, said it had been an emotional rollercoaster, but paid tribute to what he called the "incredible" work of the fire service to contain the disaster.

"It is incredible that we still have a business at the end of the day. The quick action of staff here and then the skill of the fire service firstly saved lives, and it saved our business," said the managing director of the firm is part of a business worth an estimated £110 million annually.

The fire had broken out in the furnace next to its offices used for smelting, among other materials, aluminium.

The metal has a melting point of nearly 700 degree centigrade, which gives some idea of the kind of temperatures at the core of the fire. This one had the added complication of including magnesium in the mix – which reacts angrily with water.
Eye-witnesses reported hearing a number of bangs, pops and minor explosions as the fire service worked to calm the conflagration.

"It was very emotional at one point. We were looking at it thinking it would be razed to the ground," said
the managing director of the firm.

"But because of the steps that were taken by our staff – isolating the gas and electric and removing the servers off-site immediately – we are able to say it is pretty much business as usual."

The firm supplies metals for a range of sectors to make everything from brake callipers for the Bugatti Veyron super-luxury sports car to foil for the food industry, materials for the construction and aerospace industry.

"We have three foundries on site. This puts one of them out of action, but we should be able to get back up and running today and manage with what we have going forward while investigations are underway to find out what went wrong ."

The Aluminium Plant Safety Blog congratulates Avon Metals on the quick evacuation that resulted in no injuries. In addition we are very happy that no emergency management personnel were injured in this incident.

When was your last evacuation drill? If you cannot recall when it occurred, it’s been too long. Occupational Safety & Health Administration has a great document about planning for emergency evacuations can be found here.

The “number of bangs, pops and minor explosions as the fire service worked” were a direct result of the water being placed upon the flames. When water comes into contact with molten metal an explosion of varying severity. We have posted numerous incidents where fireman and bystanders have been killed when water was placed upon onto a molten metal fire.

The Aluminum Times Magazine had an article about the importance of training your local emergency management services of hazards in your facility.

No comments: