Normality returns after ladle crane spills 200t load

12 June 2006

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Initial estimates by Mittal said that the shop would lose around 300,000t of steel-making, but Lou Schorsch, president and chief executive officer at Mittal Steel USA, said a quick recovery meant the company lost less than 200,000t.

“I would like to thank our customers for working with us to minimize the impact of the fire,” said Schorsch. “Through the outstanding efforts of our employees at Indiana Harbor - as well as at other facilities that stepped up to help compensate for the loss in production capability - we have been able to restore full production much more effectively than originally expected."

The fire, on April 28, was caused when a crane equipment failure caused the ladle to descend as it was moving towards a steelmaking furnace, which spilled 200t of molten iron on the shop floor. It added: "The ladle's tilting mechanism engaged the pouring hook hoist on the way down."

Schorsch said that other parts of the Mittal group, including those from outside of the US, had "pitched in," helping the recovery efforts.

The company confirmed that the loss of steel production would be fully covered by business interruption insurance, while the cost of damage repairs was also fully insured.

The cause of the accident is yet to be determined. An investigation is ongoing.