Archbold, OH

Furnace Malfunction Causes Explosion

A malfunction in a furnace at the North Star-BHP steel plant caused an explosion that was heard, and felt, in the Delta area about 5:52 pm, Saturday, May 7.

Rick Sluder, Wauseon fire chief, said the malfunction caused molten steel to escape from the furnace. It dropped into a safety pit, but the pit sometimes collects water.

When the molten steel came in contact with the water, there was an explosion.

As a result, several small fires were created.

When the explosion occurred, Sluder said the siding on the steel mill building became momentarily unstable, but he noted the building is designed to absorb such shocks.

Sluder said anytime there is a problem at the steel mill, firefighters from Delta, Wauseon, Lyons, and Swanton are automatically dispatched. They remained on the scene for about three hours.

No one was injured in the explosion.

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