800-Degree Aluminum Spill: Forklift Driver Puts Colleagues in Mortal Danger

Reading time: min

vonMichael Seeholzer
The carelessness of a forklift driver and a "stupid coincidence": These were the causes of the accident at an aluminum processing plant.

Markt Schwaben - Here's how it happened: A 27-year-old employee spilled a small amount of molten metal with the forklift when transporting a container filled with 800 degrees hot aluminum ( reported). As this material hit the ground, it literally "exploded" due to the large temperature difference and molten aluminum droplets scattered over a several meter-wide area.

In the process, a one-centimeter wide drop of aluminum hit the mechanical switch, which starts the emptying process of the melting furnace. As a result, several hundred liters of liquid aluminum spilled onto the ground.

Five workers has to spend the night in the hospital.

More bad luck: Because the aluminum droplets that had been scattered immediately cooled and solidified, the pouring-switch remained pressed. Due to the large temperature difference, the leaking aluminum ignited abruptly. "Although the company's evacuation plan worked perfectly, five employees had to spend a night in the hospital for inhaling toxic fumes," the investigators report.

An additional 45 workers complained of nausea and coughing, but were able to go home after an outpatient examination by the ambulance or rescue service crews.

Investigation of forklift driver continues

An investigation for negligent bodily injury was initiated against the driver of the forklift, a resident of the district of Erding, who caused the accident by spilling hot aluminum and who was also among the injured workers.