Monday, July 11, 2016

Molten metal explosion timeline (7 workers injured)....

Molten metal explosions have the ability to shock our industry about a hazard our plants mitigate on a daily basis. The shear force of what could happen has governed, steered our industry for the past five decades. The Aluminium Plant Safety Blog has posted incidents over the past 16 months of explosions of varying degrees. One explosion even generated an earthquake that radiated out 65 kilometers from the epicenter. When an incident has an injury or fatality the APSB will not include the company name nor location nor worker’s names. We do that because our mantra is not to place blame on the company nor the worker but it is our sincere hope that bringing awareness to these incidents recurrence of these incidents can be prevented. Here is the recent story of the timeline after a molten metal explosion was reported to the local emergency management services during the week of June 26, 2016.

  • 9:15 a.m. - The blast is reported in casting area. Residents as far away as 13 kilometers report hearing it.

  • 9:22 a.m. – The aluminium plant security advises 911 of the need for EMS.

  • 9:26 a.m. - A caller advises 911 that he is near the cast house, trying to control the liquid metal.

  • 9:31 a.m. – A nearby boat dealership reports concrete, molten aluminum and steel has fallen through the roof and set several boats on fire. Boat dealership employees are able to extinguish all fires.

  • 9:39 a.m. - Family members of aluminum company’s employees are advised to respond to a nearby fire station.

  • 9:48 a.m. - All local  trains are stopped.

  • 9:57 a.m. - Volunteers begin to bring water and food to aid victims and emergency responders.

  • 10:05 a.m. - The Federal Aviation Administration is asked to establish a “no fly zone” over the area.

  • 10:09 a.m. - First of two patients are airlifted 80 kilometers to a hospital.

  • 10:45 a.m. - Fire is still being reported inside the casting distribution vat.

  • 11:15 a.m. – Aluminum company representative gives statement to press, announcing the temporary closure of the plant.

  • 12:06 p.m. - The FAA is notified to open air space up to normal traffic.

  • 12:18 p.m. – Local gas company finishes investigation, finding no problems.

  • 12:36 p.m. – Local fire department leaves, reporting no hazards are reported.

The Aluminium Plant Safety Blog prays that the injured workers recovery fully from their injuries. News reports stated two workers were flown by air ambulance to a hospital. One of the workers was reported as in “critical” condition. The remaining workers were treated and released.

The force of the explosion was severe (to say the least) that molten metal was thrown 100 of meters away. Upon landing the molten metal started fires that were quickly extinguished. In addition solidified aluminum was propelled out of the building and damaged surrounding property.

We will update on this story in the near future as information is released.

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