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Two contractors suffer burns in dust collector fire

21 October 2022

A fire at a manufacturing plant in Ohio, US injured two contractors on October 18. The fire, which took place at a plant belonging to alloys manufacturer Howmet Aerospace in the city of Niles, occurred while two contractors were removing titanium dust from a unit at the facility.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

Firefighters from several nearby towns were called to the scene just after 8:00 local time. Fire officials said that the fire originated in a dust collector from which the two contractors had been removing titanium particles. Both contractors, one of which suffered burns to the face, were transported to a burn centre at a local hospital.

Fires involving titanium cannot be extinguished using water, so firefighters attempted to put the blaze out using around 6,800kg of salt. Another local fire department attended the scene equipped with F-500 Encapsulator Agent that helped to extinguish the fire.

Howmet Aerospace, which produces titanium alloys to the aerospace industry, told local press outlets that a contractor had been performing preventative maintenance and system cleaning on the dust collector when the fire occurred. The company said that internal responders arrived on the scene immediately and that the equipment’s fire safety system worked as designed to help minimise damage.

Howmet also said that the two contractors had suffered non-life-threatening injuries and that both would make a full recovery.

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