Dock wall collapses under cargo weight at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor

2012-09-25T12:15:00Z 2012-09-28T17:34:10Z Dock wall collapses under cargo weight at ArcelorMittal Burns HarborLauri Harvey Keagle and Bowdeya Tweh Times Staff Writers nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | An ArcelorMittal dock wall at the Port of Indiana Burns Harbor was crushed under the weight of cargo off-loaded from a ship early Tuesday morning, officials said.

No one was injured in the incident.

According to Chris Roggy with the U.S. Coast Guard's Michigan City station, the Coast Guard received a call about 5:30 a.m. saying a cargo ship was off-loading a shipment onto the dock when the structure collapsed under the weight of the load.

Iron ore concentrate was being off-loaded from a vessel operated by Algoma Central Corp. when the incident took place, said Jim Pound, vice president of operations for the St. Catharines, Ontario-based dry-bulk carrier. Pound said the vessel carried about 26,000 tons of product, which is a typical shipment for the company to make. He said the incident "is as much a surprise to us as it is to them," referring to ArcelorMittal.

The ship was listing slightly to the starboard side just before noon. A tug boat was positioned at the front of the ship preparing to upright the vessel, a source with knowledge of the incident said.

Mary Beth Holdford, a spokeswoman for ArcelorMittal, said the incident had, "no impact on production or our ability to serve our customers."

"Additionally, the waterway is navigable, with no impact on Port of Indiana operations," Holdford said in a statement. "No damage has been reported to the vessel."

"The material was contained to the dock surface and did not enter the waterway," Holdford said. "As a precautionary measure, ArcelorMittal has notified the appropriate agencies of the incident."

Holdford said ArcelorMittal is waiting for the Coast Guard to inspect the ship.

Lt. Leslie Downing, spokeswoman for the Marine Safety Unit of the U.S. Coast Guard in Chicago, said additional details cannot be released, as the investigation is ongoing.

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