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Steelworker who died at Indiana Harbor steel mill identified

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Steelworker who died at Indiana Harbor steel mill identified

A fatal accident took place at the Indiana Harbor steel mill in East Chicago.

EAST CHICAGO — Authorities identified a steelworker who died Saturday after an accident at an East Chicago steel mill earlier last week.

Michael Osika, a 44-year-old Schererville resident and a graduate of Griffith High School, died in a Chicago hospital Saturday, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

An autopsy has been performed. The official cause and manner of death, however, are pending the results of the autopsy, a police investigation, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration probe and his medical records.

Osika was pronounced dead at 1:52 p.m. Saturday after suffering an accident at 12:51 p.m. Thursday at the Cleveland-Cliffs Indiana Harbor steel mill at 3210 Watling St. in East Chicago.

He was doing a routine task at the operation’s ladle maintenance area at the steel mill on Lake Michigan in East Chicago's Indiana Harbor neighborhood, Cleveland-Cliffs spokeswoman Patricia Persico said.

"The employee died as a result of injuries sustained during a routine repair activity," she said.

The fatal accident took place at Indiana Harbor West, the former LTV steel mill, United Steelworkers Union District 7 Director Mike Millsap said.

Osika was a USW member who belonged to USW Local 1011, Millsap said.

No one else was injured in the industrial accident, which remains under investigation.

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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.

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