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Significant air emission at ArcelorMittal Dofasco under investigation

The Hamilton Fire Department was called to ArcelorMittal Dofasco after a series of eruptions at the local steelmaker. Don Mitchell / Global News

Ontario’s Ministry of Environment has been notified after “a series of eruptions” at ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s plant in Hamilton.

In a statement on the steelmaker’s website, the company says a slag pit eruption at the No. 4 Blast Furnace caused “a significant air emission” just after 11 a.m. on Christmas Day.

The incident sent a huge plume of thick, reddish-brown smoke into the air and could be seen as far away as the Hamilton Mountain.

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“Thankfully, there are no injuries,” said company spokesperson Marie Verdun via email.

The Hamilton Fire Department and the company’s on-site fire service responded to the blast but left the scene about an hour later.

Read more: Steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal Dofasco fined $300K for workplace incidents

ArcelorMittal Dofasco says the eruptions occurred when liquid slag/iron came into contact with moisture during the Slag Casting process, when slag and molten iron from the Blast Furnace are separated and the slag is cast.

The company says “the reaction was between water and primarily liquid iron and would have been comprised of mostly iron, iron oxide and water vapour, as well as silica, calcium, magnesium, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide.”

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