Workers escape 1300C furnace explosion | Innovation Tech

A FURNACE fire burning at more than 1300C has exploded at a foundry just north of forcing workers to run for their lives.

Firefighters are on scene at a business on Grand Junction Rd in Gepps Cross, cooling molten metal to extinguish the threat.

were called to McKechnie Iron Foundry just after 9am as thick smoke from the blanketed nearby homes and businesses.

Three inside the factory ran to explosions after the furnace’s lid was sealed shut.

Chris Higgins said he realised something was wrong when metal stopped melting.

“We were doing out job putting the shredded steel in and somehow it just didn’t seem to be melting,” he told The Advertiser.

“After every three magnets of steel we put in, we picked up a square piece of steel to push the metal down. Then we load another three magnets.

“It just wasn’t going down.”

“The heat was just rising and there was noises.

“We just got told to close the lid because something wasn’t right and once we closed the lid it got louder and louder. We got told to run.”

Almost 50 firefighters are working to cool the furnace. Water cannot be used on molten metal because it could cause more explosions, the MFS says.

Metal has been removed from other furnaces.

No injures have been reported but Mr Higgins said there is a burning sensation over his head.

Smoke is still drifting across Gepps Cross and the MFS has warned residents to shut doors, windows and stay inside.

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Eastbound traffic on Grand Junction Rd is blocked and motorists are asked to avoid the area.

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