MAC: Mines and Communities

Court Fines Corus Over Fatal Steel Blast

Published by MAC on 2006-12-15
Source: Financial Times

Court fines Corus over fatal steel blast

Financial Times

15th December 2006

Corus, the Anglo-Dutch steelmaker, was on Friday ordered to pay more than £3m for breaching health and safety laws over a 2001 explosion at one of its plants in Wales, which killed three workers and injured a dozen others.

Corus admitted at Swansea Crown Court failing to ensure worker safety at its Port Talbot plant and said it regretted the loss of life and the “grievous injuries”.

The steelworks explosion was caused by water in a furnace coming into sudden contact with hot material in November 2001.

As the water turned to steam it expanded and blew apart a confined vessel, showering workers with molton metal.

The Court fined Corus £1.33m and ordered it to pay £1.74m costs. Brazilian steelmaker Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional this week agreed to buy Corus, trumping within hours a raised offer from India’s Tata Steel that valued the Anglo-Dutch steel group at £5.5bn.

The battle to control Corus is the latest gambit in the global steel industry following the big rise in valuations in the past five years, triggered by growing consolidation and surging Chinese demand for the metal.

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