Eight people were reported injured after a furnace exploded at a Colorado steel mill, according to officials.
Firefighters received a call about the explosion at the Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel Plant in Pueblo, Colorado, around 6 p.m. local time, according to the Pueblo Fire Department. Assistant Fire Chief Keith Miller reported an electric arc furnace, which is used to melt steel, had exploded.
Firefighters encountered 130 tons of steel inside the furnace at max temperature (300 degrees Fahrenheit) and had to wait for the metal to cool down before entering to battle the blaze.
The explosion reportedly started three different levels of the building on fire. Seven people were transported to area hospitals, three of whom were in critical condition, the fire department said. Local 2012, the union representing the mill workers, reported an additional worker went to the hospital on their own.
Among the injured, five people were treated and released, two were in the ICU and one of the victims transferred to a burn unit in Denver, the union reported.
“Please keep them along with their families and those who witnessed the accident in your thoughts and prayers,” Local 2102 wrote in a Facebook post.