Three workers have been seriously injured following an explosion yesterday at OneSteel’s Waratah mill.
The explosion reportedly happened after water made contact with molten steel inside of the electric arc furnace, according to The Newcastle Herald.
It occurred while a furnace crew were removing partially melted scrap from inside of the furnace.
Three men were burnt and a fourth was blasted down stairs in the explosion.
Two of the burnt men have already been released from hospital, but the last is still in care.
Ambulance officers on the scene stated that one man had burns to multiple regions, another on both his hands, while another had ‘shrapnel burns to his torso’.
A crane driver sitting above the blast was also shaken.
Australian Workers Union secretary Richard Downie told The Herald that the workers had a luck escape.
The scrap "somehow dislodged a water-fed cooling plate, which fell into the ‘heel’, which is the molten steel at the bottom of the furnace after it has been tapped," Downie said.
"Because of the water, they thought that if anything was going to happen it would have happened straight away but they waited ten or 20 minutes before they went to get the plate out. But somehow it still exploded."
Despite the incident, Downie reaffirmed his confidence in the steel mill’s safety standards.