Steel plant explosion at Ford Plant in Dearborn, Michigan: : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Don't know if this is relevant or not...unknown cause

Information Added: Saturday, January 8, 2000 - 9:57 PM ----- A vessel of moltensteel exploded at the Rouge Steel Co., destroying part of a roof, sparking small fires and causing minor injuries.

It's the latest in a series of recent accidents at the company, which produces rolled sheet steel and is part of Ford Motor Company's vast Rouge complex. (See Chemical Incident Report Center Incident Numbers 1757, 2182 and 2233.)

Thirty-five employees were evacuated around 5:30 a.m. from the basic oxygen furnace building where the fires started, Rouge Steel reported.

A few employees received medical treatment at the plant for minor injuries, according to the company.

The cause of the explosion has not been determined, according to Dearborn fire battalion chief Ken Kajkowski. The chief said the molten steel exploded when oxygen was being injected into the vessel.

The vessel, one of two at the plant, was the only one operating at the time. Shaped like deep coffee cups, each holds 260 tons of steel.

The explosion occurred on the seventh floor of the building.

In February, 1999 six workers died and 14 others were jured when a power plant boiler exploded (CIRC incident #1757).

In July, a samll explosion injured another worker (CIRC incident #2182.)

In August, 1999 one worker died and three others were hospitalized Thursday after being overcome by fumes while performing maintenance work. (CIRC Incident #2233)

"The steel manufacturing environment is one where we have to work very hard at safe workplace practices," company spokesman Bill Hornberger said.

Link to story

-- Carl Jenkins (, January 09, 2000



Great work with all of the "incidents" you've been locating.


September 15, 1999 To: Rouge Steel Customers and Suppliers


The following information regarding Rouge Steel's Year-2000 Program is being submitted as a "Year-2000 Readiness Disclosure" in accordance with the provisions of the "Year-2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure Act."

In 1997, Rouge Steel established a comprehensive program to identify and resolve any potential issues associated with the Year-2000 changeover. A Year-2000 core team was formed with representatives from the Company's Operations, Purchasing, Quality, Outside Processing, Systems and Engineering departments. This core team has been meeting weekly to discuss, monitor and manage the Year-2000 program. The efforts of this team have been overseen by an Executive Steering Committee.

We are now confident to report that Rouge Steel is Year-2000 ready. All critical manufacturing and business systems have been either replaced or remediated, tested, and are in operation.

An important element of Rouge Steel's Year-2000 Program was the replacement of most of the traditional mainframe systems with client-server network based systems that were designed to be Year-2000 ready. During the past eighteen months, Rouge Steel has launched several Year-2000 ready systems including customer order management (COM-2000), manufacturing inventory, shipping and scheduling systems. The financial, purchasing and plant maintenance systems were replaced with packaged solutions that are warranted by their suppliers as being Year-2000 ready.

Rouge's Engineering department has coordinated the plant-floor equipment and process issues. Live Year-2000 production or simulation tests have been successfully conducted on all manufacturing facilities.

All Rouge Steel suppliers were sent a Year-2000 self-assessment questionnaire. Subsequently, suppliers identified by Purchasing and Operations as being critical have been asked to provide details regarding contingency plans. At present, we believe that sufficient supplies will be available to sustain Rouge Steel's manufacturing operations.

Meetings were conducted with our most critical steel processors and all of our processors have indicated that they will be Year-2000 ready. We also have met with and received assurances from our critical infrastructure providers for electricity, natural gas, and oxygen that they will be Year-2000 ready.

We are now in the process of finalizing our operating plan for beginning the Year-2000 rollover period, of which contingency planning is an important element.

In summary, Rouge Steel has consistently maintained that Year-2000 readiness was important to its business and has delivered a thorough, well-coordinated and documented program to ensure the uninterrupted operation of the Company as we enter the Year 2000.

Very truly yours, \s\ Gary P. Latendresse - Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer

NO COMMENT ... purely for informational purposes

-- Cheryl (, January 09, 2000.

WHEW ... This Ford Rouge Steel Operation has been having MAJOR problems for some time. There's actually a good possibility that this may have not been Y2K related. But, who knows?

Here's a site called "Ford Rouge Power Plant Explosion & Investigation" relating to past problems. It hasn't been updated with most recent explosion.

-- Cheryl (, January 09, 2000.

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