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Injured EVRAZ worker, union leader speak out about steel mill blast that injured 8

They say the impact was more severe than initially let on
Injured EVRAZ worker, union leader speak out about steel mill blast that injured 8
Posted at 4:36 PM, May 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-02 10:59:20-04

PUEBLO — News 5 spoke with one of the workers injured in the explosion at a Pueblo steel mill, as well as a steelworkers union leader. They paint a different picture than officials initially presented.

It all started Saturday evening,

“Got a call about the smoke at the mill,” United Steelworkers Local 2102 President Eric Ludwig said. “They were waiting on the ambulances to double back, they didn’t have enough to take everyone so they took the more critical ones first.”

He said one of the workers was flown to a Denver-area hospital’s burn unit. ambulances took Six others to Parkview Hospital in Pueblo, and another worker drove himself to the ER.

“Still trying to figure out the extent of everyone’s injuries,” Ludwig said. “Until I talk to the family I don’t believe what I hear.”

On Saturday, EVRAZ’s vice president of operations told News 5 the injured employees were being treated for dust inhalation, and that some may have also suffered some cuts and bruises.

But News 5 spoke to one of the injured workers Monday, who painted a different picture of the incident.

“Burns, cuts, breathing issues due to the dust in the air. That's the main stuff,” the worker said. “It definitely wasn't a minor explosion like some have said.”

“Two were admitted into the ICU,” Ludwig said.

While the three workers still hospitalized are expected to pull through, the likelihood they can work again is up in the air.

“Some of them are already worried about their mortgage and their rent payments, just knowing workman’s comp doesn’t pay a hundred percent,” Ludwig said.

And for the worker we spoke with, it’s the others who matter most.

“We are a family and a brotherhood/sisterhood out there and we all care about each other,” the worker said. “When one of us is hurting we are all hurting. We will get through this and it will just show how strong we are.”

Ludwig says if you are looking to help the families affected by this, the union hall can be found at 1414 E Evans Ave. in Pueblo.