Another Agency Probing Pittsburgh-Area Coke Blast

July 21, 2010

Another federal agency has joined the investigation of an explosion at a Pittsburgh-area coke plant that injured 20 workers last week.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has sent a three-person team to U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works to determine whether that agency will conduct a full investigation. The board is charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents.

The explosion on Wednesday occurred after an unplanned release of coke-oven gas ignited in one battery of coke ovens.

The plant converts coal into coke, a fuel that is used to create extremely high temperatures needed to make steel.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating, along with U.S. Steel, and the United Steelworkers union.

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