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ArcelorMittal denies furnace explosion

Spokespeople said the blast furnace was currently being relined, and said no explosion had occurred.

Reports of an explosion at ArcelorMittal’s Newcastle Works have been refuted by local spokespeople.

Late last week, residents speculated there had been a violent reaction at one of the many plants, after water was introduced into one of the furnaces undergoing maintenance.

In reality, the situation was far less dramatic than first believed.

According to the manager of Corporate Social Responsibility and Communications, Gracious Maswanganyi, Newcastle Works is currently undergoing a major reline project, which began on May 12.

The initial stage of the project includes the quenching of the furnace.

Ms Maswanganyi said this regular phase of the reline was done to reduce the temperature inside the furnace, and categorically denied there was as explosion.

The remainder of the reline, including an overhaul of the blast furnace, will take more than four months to complete.

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