Fifth accident at NSSMC’s Nagoya plant leaves 15 injured

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp (NSSMC)’s Nagoya plant in central Japan suffered its fifth accident this year after a coal storage facility caught fire on Wednesday September 3.

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The incident, which occurred at the plant’s No.1 coke oven at about 12:35pm, resulted in injuries to 15 people, 11 of them NSSMC employees and four from associated companies, NSSMC said in a press release posted on its website on Thursday September 4.

“Immediately after the accident, we stopped feeding the coke oven gas to ensure safety and from 2pm on September 3, the remaining gas in the coke oven was burnt off and released to the air,” the company said.

The cause of the accident, however, is still under investigation.

“We will make utmost efforts to determine the cause of the accident as soon as possible,” NSSMC said.

“At the same time, we are determined to take necessary measures in order to prevent similar accidents in the future,” it added.

The first two accidents at the Nagoya works occurred in January, following power failures.

Two other power failures and smoke releases happened in June and July this year.

With almost 3,000 employees, the Nagoya plant produced 6.74 million tonnes of crude steel in the 2013-2014 financial year ending on March 31 this year, according to NSSMC’s 2014 annual report.

It produces flat steel sheets and coils, plates, pipes and tubes.