Management of United Steel Company says the company experienced a minimal internal explosion of its induction furnace on Monday which resulted in an ankle injury of one worker.
According to management, the affected worker whose name they gave as Mr Mohammed, a Ghanaian, was rushed to the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, received medical care and was discharged awaiting a scheduled surgery.
Mr Fadi El Chami, General Manager, United Steel, disclosing this to the Ghana News Agency, explained that the explosion occurred on August 24, 2020, at about 18:20 hours when the induction furnace was being heated after it was shut down from August 13, 2020.
Mr Chami noted that the furnace had no scrap metal in it at the time of the heating, indicating that electricity was the source of energy for the heating and not gas.
According to him, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wrote to United Steel to shut down the said furnace due to environmental related issues adding that they decided to heat the furnace periodically in accordance with laid down procedures to prevent it from becoming faulty.
“What happened was not like the explosion we recorded on November 20, 2016, this one was an internal one with one injury, you hear it like an explosion but physically it is not, ”he said, adding that the Ghana National Fire Service was called in to help quench the fire.
Mr Chami noted that the factory was intact and works on its secondary system and the second step of handling of pollution was still ongoing.
He debunked assertions that the said explosion at his outfit caused some damaged to properties of neighbouring companies, questioning how United Steel’s premises and its fence wall was intact after the explosion saying the EPA, Police and other state agencies had visited the scene after the incident.
He expressed disbelief at the possibility that the internal explosion could damage properties on other companies’ premises while the scene of the incident was not affected.
A visit to the company located at the Free Zones Enclave in Tema by the GNA showed that no smelting was ongoing, however, work was ongoing on the second step of its pollution system which Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI) instructed that it must be fully completed by July 15, 2021, when he visited the company and others some weeks back.