CSB Stays Busy Investigating Hoeganaes Corp.

An investigative team deployed to the Tennessee company's site May 27 -- the third serious accident CSB has investigated there, according to the board.

A four-person investigative team from the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board deployed to the Gallatin, Tenn. plant of Hoeganaes Corporation on May 27 after an explosion injured five people, including three who were in critical condition at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center burn unit in Nashville, CSB announced the same day. This was the third serious accident CSB has investigated there, according to the board.

The plant produces atomized iron powder for industrial customers and employs about 180 people.

The earlier incidents included a Jan. 31 flash fire fueled by combustible iron dust in which two workers died and a fire involving iron dust on March 29, which caused one injury.

"According to a company official, today's accident took place in the vicinity of one of the facility's furnaces," CSB said May 27. It had released lab test results May 11 that showed metal dust collected inside the plant is combustible and capable of exploding when dispersed in air and confined.

CSB Investigative Team Lead Johnnie Banks was scheduled to return to Gallatin May 28 to lead the new investigation.

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