NEW YORK An accident at
ArcelorMittal USA LLCs Coatesville, Pa., plant remains
under investigation, a spokeswoman said June 4, the same day a
Philadelphia county court judges order to halt repairs to
the facilitys damaged melt shop was due to expire.
"The health and safety of our
employees remains our No. 1 priority, and we are committed to
ensuring that the investigation is complete before returning to
normal operations," an ArcelorMittal spokeswoman said, noting
an ongoing investigation by the company, the United
Steelworkers union and the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration. " Because this matter is the subject of
litigation, ArcelorMittal is unable to respond further at this
The order to halt repairs,
issued last week and effective through June 4, followed an
incident at the Chicago-based companys Coatesville plant
that resulted in the injury of three employees and temporarily
idled the furnace (
amm.com, May 24).
According to documents filed in
the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Law Division,
plaintiffs alleged that the May 23 accident at
ArcelorMittals "D" electric-arc furnace caused
"catastrophic" injuries. When the plaintiffs sent a letter to
the steelmaker demanding "preservation of evidence" and an
immediate inspection of its melt shop, ArcelorMittal informed
them that it had already begun repairs due to business needs
and would deny an inspection.
In a May 31 ruling, Judge Leon
Tucker ordered all computer logs and videos to be printed out
and preserved for the plaintiffs experts as they relate
to the explosion. He ordered an inspection of the site, to be
conducted June 3, and for the company to "cease all repairs in
the subject melt shop until counsel for plaintiffs have had a
full opportunity to inspect the location to the subject
explosion, not to exceed June 4, 2013."
The petitioners did not respond
to requests for comment.
facility produces a range of carbon and alloy plate products
and has a raw steel capacity of some 900,000 tons annually,
according to the companys website. The plant includes an
EF, vacuum degasser, ingot teeming, slab caster, two plate
mills and heat-treating and finishing facilities.