3 Hurt after Alcoa Lithium Fire

Friday, February 27, 2015 @ 06:02 PM gHale

A fire caused by a leak into the lithium furnace at the Alcoa plant in Lafayette, IN, left three people injured Tuesday, officials said.

The fire, reported around 4:15 p.m., ignited lithium which water will not extinguish, fire officials said.

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Three employees ended up taken to the hospital as a precaution over concerns of smoke inhalation, said Alcoa spokeswoman Pam Whitten. They ended up treated and later released from the hospital.

The fire remained contained within the equipment, and the Alcoa emergency responders on site were able to manage site-specific safety issues, said Christa Bowers, Alcoa communications director.

“We can confirm there was a small fire in the aluminum-lithium cast house at our Lafayette Operations facility,” she said.

“The fire has been put out,” she said. “There were no injuries, however as a precautionary measure, three employees were transported to the hospital for possible smoke inhalation.

“The fire was put out with dry carbon dioxide and a graphite-based fire extinguisher,” Bowers said.

“There was no impact on production,” Bowers said.

Alcoa operates the world’s largest aluminum-lithium plant in Lafayette, according to its website.

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