Oregon Plant Explosion Injures Five

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Oregon Plant Explosion Injures Five

ALBANY, Ore. (AP)--An explosion at a titanium manufacturing plant, so powerful it was felt 10 miles away, left one worker critically burned and four others injured.

Tuesday night's blast at the Oremet-Wah Chang plant, about 65 miles south of Portland, occurred during the titanium melting process in one of the plant's buildings, said fire department spokeswoman Wanda Omdahl.

It was apparently sparked when water seeped into a containment vessel and came in contact with the molten metal.

No toxic chemicals were released, Omdahl said.

One worker was in critical condition at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, and the others were treated at Albany General Hospital, Albany General spokeswoman Kim Sass said.

AP-NY-09-08-99 0931EDT


-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), September 08, 1999


...and this has what to do with Y2K?

-- Y2K Pro (y2kpro1@hotmail.com), September 08, 1999.

Perhaps about as much as your posts. :-)


-- Jerry B (skeptic76@erols.com), September 08, 1999.

Good one Jerry.

-- Charles R. (chuck_roast@trans.net), September 08, 1999.

Chuck, Jerry and Homer - the Tinfoil version of the Three Stooges...

-- Y2K Pro (y2kpro1@hotmail.com), September 08, 1999.

And then there's Shemp, er, um, Y2K "pro"

-- blah blah (who.me@nothere.com), September 08, 1999.

I grew up about 12 miles from there. So what? No good reason to mention it just thought I would. What I don't understand is how water mixing with molten metal causes an explosion. ????? What basic chemistry knowledge am I missing? And if it's possible for this to happen, why did it happen? It seems such a simple thing, how much water does it take? Condensation? Guess I'm just ignorant. Anyone out there know how these plants operate and why this happened?

-- ex-Oregonian (movedfromthere@here.now), September 08, 1999.

Do you think it smells different now? ;)

If you're from around here you know what I'm talking about.

-- DOC (hoping_for@the.best), September 08, 1999.

Q> What I don't understand is how water mixing with molten metal causes an explosion? What basic chemistry knowledge am I missing?

A> Water flash-boiling would cause a sudden pressure increase in the vessel where it happened (perhaps enough to burst something), and maybe set the metal on fire. Many metals are highly flammable / reactive, even more so when hot. I'm sure we all remember dropping sodium onto water during those school chemistry lessons (no? well, pay attention). Well, titanium's pretty reactive as well. It's titanium that gives sparklers their sparkle, so I guess liquid titanium would be fairly flammable if it got into the open air.

-- Fountain of Useless Knowledge (booboo@booboo.boo), September 09, 1999.

Now its a malfunction in an electric arc furnace.

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Plants Blast Injures Five Click on our sponsors!

Updated 7:06 PM ET September 8, 1999

(Albany) An Albany titanium plant could be closed down for several weeks following an explosion. The blast at the Oremet plant last night sent five employees to the hospital. One is still in critical condition. A malfunction in an eclectic arc furnace is being blamed for the explosion but an investigation into the cause is continuing.


-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), September 09, 1999.

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