By Pierre Bertrand


ArcelorMittal in Spain said Thursday that it is evaluating the damage caused by a fire which broke out Wednesday at one of its blast furnaces in Asturias.

The Luxembourg-based steelmaker said that at 1650 GMT Wednesday a reaction took place at blast furnace A at its plant in Gijon, caused when hot metal touched water in the hearth of the furnace.

The reaction caused serious damage, created a hole in the blast furnace and forced some hot metal out of the tuyere, a spokesman for the company said.

A tuyere is a nozzle through which air is brought into a furnace.

The furnace was undergoing scheduled maintenance to replace the tuyere when the incident took place. The fire was brought under control by 1800 GMT on Wednesday and was extinguished with no injuries, ArcelorMittal said.

Yesterday's maintenance work wasn't expected to last more than a day, the spokesman said.

"At present, work is ongoing to cool down the facility, so as to be able to access the furnace safely and assess the damage. A first inspection has revealed that a breakout occurred in the hearth," the company said.

The extent of the damage as well as the cost of repairs are being assessed, the spokesman said, adding that blast furnace was the same which was brought back online in early February after being idled due to market conditions.

The cause of the water in the furnace is still to be established. Blast furnace B remains operational, ArcelorMittal said.


Write to Pierre Bertrand at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 23, 2023 08:52 ET (12:52 GMT)

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