Damage assessment continues in dock collapse

2012-09-26T17:15:00Z 2012-09-27T11:00:03Z Damage assessment continues in dock collapseBy Bowdeya Tweh bowdeya.tweh@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com
September 26, 2012 5:15 pm  • 

Damage assessments have to be completed on a collapsed ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor dock and the Canadian freight ship that delivered cargo to the facility Tuesday.

The Marine Safety Unit Chicago of the U.S. Coast Guard said the collapse of a dock Tuesday was caused by the weight of mill scale at the facility. The mill scale shifted, causing the dock to cave in. The incident was reported to the marine safety unit about 6 a.m. Tuesday.

The partial collapse of the pier caused a vessel operated by Algoma Central Corp. to ground at the dock and the Coast Guard worked Tuesday with a salvage master from North American Marine to safely free the grounded vessel.

"The situation could have been much worse, and we're thankful that there haven’t been any personnel casualties as a result of the dock collapse," said Cmdr. Jason Neubauer, commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Chicago, in a news release.

Lt. Leslie Downing, of the Marine Safety Unit Chicago, said ArcelorMittal was working to conduct a structural assessment of the pier. Downing said the Coast Guard issued a notice to mariners to exercise caution near the area of the dock collapse and slow their speeds when traveling to prevent further damage.

No injuries or pollution were reported from the collapse.

Algoma Central and ArcelorMittal did not respond to additional requests for comment Wednesday.

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