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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170993182 - Three Employees Burned When Slag Cleaning Vessel Explodes

Accident: 170993182 -- Report ID: 0935000 -- Event Date: 01/24/1996
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10633597901/26/19963331Asarco, Inc.
At 4:52 p.m. on January 24, 1996, Employees #1 through #3 were present when a major explosion occurred in an electric slag cleaning vessel at a copper smelting operation. The cleaning vessel was a furnace that used carbon electrodes to heat a molten mixture, separating slag material and copper-containing material. An initial minor explosion may have been caused by removal of the electrodes from the molten mixture, by hydrolyzed water, or by water reacting with the material. The first explosion was probably caused by suspended coke dust, a substance added to the molten mixture within the cleaning vessel. The suspended coke dust then ignited into a second major explosion. Employees #1 through #3 sustained burns from the superheated steam.
Keywords: burn, furnace, dust, steam, explosion, molten metal, chemical reaction, combustible dust, mech malfunction, high temperature
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 106335979 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported
2 106335979 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported
3 106335979 Non Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported

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