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Blast At U.S. Steel Plant Near Detroit Kills Worker

Mon, 12/16/2013 - 7:56am

ECORSE, Mich. (AP) -- An explosion Sunday at a steel plant near Detroit killed one worker and injured two others, United States Steel Corp. said. Operations were halted at the plant while an investigation began.

The accident happened overnight at U.S. Steel Great Lakes Works in Ecorse, said company spokeswoman Courtney Boone. The plant is about 10 miles south-southwest of downtown Detroit and primarily supplies the auto industry.

"There was an explosion at the facility's steel shop," Boone said in a statement. She said the blast killed a remote control locomotive operator, whom she identified as Antonino Palazzolo, 32.

He worked for U.S. Steel for about two years and lived in the Detroit suburb of Rockwood.

"The company expresses their sincerest condolences to the Palazzolo family," Boone said.

According to police, the accident happened about 2:30 a.m. when a ladle handling molten steel overturned, causing a blast and fire, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Two workers sustained minor injuries and received medical treatment, Boone said.

According to the company's website, Great Lakes Works has an annual capacity of about 3.8 million tons. It's along the Detroit River straddling the communities of Ecorse and River Rouge. Its products include hot-rolled, cold-rolled and coated sheet steels whose main users are automakers.

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