Federal agency says molten aluminum hitting water apparent cause of Missouri plant explosion

IndustriesAssociated Press

A federal agency says molten aluminum hitting water is the apparent cause of explosions that injured more than 30 employees at a southeast Missouri aluminum plant.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration says it's investigating two explosions that occurred Tuesday at the Noranda Aluminum plant in New Madrid County, about 170 miles south of St. Louis.

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OSHA says the preliminary cause of the explosions appears to be the result of molten aluminum contacting water. The agency says it also investigated the facility in June after a worker was burned, and that an investigation is ongoing.

OSHA said in a release late Tuesday that preliminary information shows 33 employees were injured in the explosions Tuesday, with most suffering ringing ears and eye and throat irritation.