Clairton PA Explosion: Coke plant fire, explosion injured 20

07/15/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Nicole Howley // Nicole Howley

Clairton, PA– At least 20 people were injured during an explosion and fire at a U.S. Steel plant on Wednesday, July 14, 2010. Authorities received a 911 call around 9:30 a.m., alerting them of the blast at the Clairton Coke Works plant, as reported by CNN.

Officials say it appeared that one of the coke ovens at the plant exploded. The explosion was reportedly so intense that it bent steel beams and crumbled block walls.

A total of 14 employees were injured in the blast. Two people are in critical condition at West Penn Hospital and three are in critical condition at UPMC Mercy. Officials say most of the injuries are burn-related, although one person complained of chest pains. The burns were mostly contained to the workers faces, necks and arms.

U.S. Steel’s plant, Clairton Coke Works, is reportedly the largest coke manufacturing facility in the U.S. United States Steel Corporation’s website stated, “The plant has 12 coke oven batteries that produce approximately 4.7 million tons of coke annually. The ovens heat coal at extremely high temperatures to carbonize it so it becomes coke — a fuel used for producing steel.”

Investigators with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are at scene conducting thorough investigations into the explosion and fire.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Pennsylvania workplace accident lawyers.

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