Posted at: 01/17/2013 9:53 AM
Updated at: 01/17/2013 4:43 PM
Three employees of Mesabi Nugget were injured early Wednesday while conducting maintenance at the facility, which was not operating at the time, according to Plant Manager Jeff Hansen.
Hansen said there was an unexpected release of hot material from an inspection port, and that's how the employees were hurt.
Two of the employees were treated and released from the Essentia Health Northern Pines Hospital in Aurora; a third was transported to St. Mary’s in Duluth and was expected to be released within a few days.
Mesabi Nugget reported the incident, which occurred around 2 a.m. Wednesday, January 16, to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
Hansen said MSHA officials were on site Wednesday to investigate the incident and meet with company officials.
“The health and safety of our employees is our paramount concern,” Hansen said. “We are thankful that two of our employees were treated and released and that the third is expected to be released soon. We are committed to providing a safe working environment for all employees and contractors and will take the necessary steps to prevent a similar occurrence,” he said.
Mesabi Nugget has identified steps necessary to prevent a similar incident and was implementing them Wednesday afternoon.
Hansen says the plant had re-started production Thursday morning but not until the necessary prevention steps were in place.