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Mexico's Ahmsa to move up maintenance due to explosion in blast furnace

Sao Paulo — Mexican integrated steel producer Ahmsa has controlled an explosion in its blast oxygen furnace No 2 due to a water escape on May 12 and decided to anticipate a programmed maintenance for repairs at the equipment, the company said Wednesday.

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"The unit suffered minor damages that does not affect its operation, and it was decided to advance the scheduled maintenance plan by one week, in order to resume production once inspectors from the Labor Secretariat, Ahmsa's technicians and the Joint Safety Commission determine the origin of the accident and the preventive actions," it said in a statement.

Four workers were wounded in the accident at Ahmsa's plant No. 2, in Monclova, Coahuila state, the company said.

The company did not say whether steel shipments would be affected by the maintenance period.

Ahmsa has an installed capacity of 5 million mt/year of crude steel, able to produce mainly hot- and cold-rolled coil, plate, tinplate, structurals and heavy profiles.

--Guilherme Baida,

--Edited by Derek Sands,