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December 20, 2012

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Hurt steel workers face tough recovery

THE most seriously injured surviving worker in a horrifying accident that killed 2 and hurt 13 at a Shanghai steel plant on Monday has a very slim chance of survival with third-degree burns over 99 percent of his body, a specialist said yesterday.

Yet, the worker has passed the phase of burn shock. He is now facing the ensuing danger of infection, officials at the Shanghai No. 3 People's Hospital said yesterday.

All six workers with various degrees of serious burns and inhalation injuries are still in critical condition and just passed the first hurdle of treatment, officials said.

"It is difficult to say how long it will take them to get through critical condition due to the severity of their injuries," said Qin Yan, a hospital official.

The accident happened when a ladle furnace toppled in the factory of MCC Baosteel Technology Service Co, a subsidiary of China's largest steel maker, Baosteel Group, as they were removing slag byproduct from the furnace, the company said.

The fallen furnace spilled molten iron as hot as 1,600 degrees Celsius, killing the two workers immediately and injuring the 13 others, who were rushed to Shanghai No. 3 People's Hospital.

Two workers not critically injured have been transferred to other hospitals. Another five are in stable condition.

Dr Yuan Kejian from Ruijin Hospital, who was invited for expert group consultation after the accident, said the first 72 hours is anti-shock treatment. Patients can receive skin transplant surgery only after the shock phase. He said patients with such large burns have a chance to survive only if the majority of the wounds are covered within a month.


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