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ArcelorMittal explosion left worker with minor burns, hasn't affected production

ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor steel mill. An explosion at the mill left a worker with only minor burns and hasn not affected production.

An ArcelorMittal employee suffered minor burns and steel production was not affected after an explosion at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor in East Chicago Monday.

"On Monday, Nov. 5 at approximately 3:45 p.m. there was a minor fire at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor at 4 Steel Producing," ArcelorMittal spokeswoman Mary Beth Holdford said. "The fire was a result of slag being dumped onto an area containing water. Local fire departments were on the scene, and the fire was quickly contained and extinguished."

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East Chicago Fire Chief Anthony Serna said 18 firefighters, three engines and a heavy rescue truck from his department spent about two hours putting out the fire.

"One employee was treated for minor burns," Holdford said. "The incident is being investigated by the company and union management and is believed to be the result of procedural violations. Indiana Harbor 4SP remains in production, and we do not anticipate any impact on operations or our ability to meet customer demand."

The worker's identity and condition were not available. 

An Indiana Department of Labor spokeswoman said it was not yet known if the state will investigate the incident but that any review into potential workplace safety violation could take 60 to 90 days.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.