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Coke plant worker injured on the job

| Thursday, April 10, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

An employee at the ArcelorMittal coke plant in Monessen suffered injuries in a weekend accident at the plant, a company spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.

The man was injured on Saturday. The company would not provide any other details about the accident, including the man's identity, the type of accident or how he suffered the injuries.

“We understand that the employee's injuries are not life threatening, and we are hopeful for a quick and complete recovery,” Mary Beth Holdford, Manager of External Communications for ArcelorMittal, wrote in a statement Wednesday evening. “A joint safety investigation was immediately initiated.”

Both Monessen police Chief John Mandarino and Municipal Fire Chief Chris Rhome said their departments were not notified of any accident at the plant.

When contacted Wednesday afternoon, Scott Wolfe, safety manager at the Monessen site, confirmed the accident but referred further questions to plant manager Paul Champagne.

A secretary for Champagne, referred all questions to Holdford.

Holdford confirmed the Monessen plant is “planning for a restart of its coke battery operations this week.”

The plant has been on “hot idle” status since the ArcelorMittal ceased operations in May 2009, citing difficult economic conditions.

The company spent approximately $50 million in “modernization” renovations and improvements following a September 2012 announcement that the plant would be processing coke again by May of this year.

The plant will employ approximately 156 workers, Holdford said.

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rbruni@tribweb.com or 724-684-2635.

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