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Accident causes aluminum spill at Team Industries

No one was injured in an early morning accident Monday that spilled molten aluminum 2 inches deep at Team Industries' foundry in Detroit Lakes.

Crews chipped away almost three tons of hardened aluminum and used fork lifts to move it off the floor, according to operations manager Steve Joy.

A furnace was being cleaned when the cleaning apparatus struck a valve, dumping the aluminum on the floor. The aluminum covered an area ranging from 1,200 to 1,500 square feet.

The spill was expected to be cleaned up in time for the second shift.

No one was hurt, but the employee cleaning the furnace had to move fast to avoid injury, Joy said.

The spill "fried some wires" in a nearby furnace and workers were still trying to fix it at about 4:30 p.m. Monday, Joy said.

Plant operations were still down, but "we're working on it," Joy said at the time. "We've got the furnace guy on the phone trying to troubleshoot it."

The spilled aluminum will have to be sent out to be re-melted -- for the foundry's purposes, the aluminum is considered contaminated once it hits the floor, Joy said.

A damage estimate was not available. Team Industries is located in the North Industrial Park on Richwood Road. It manufactures engine parts.

Emergency workers responded to the scene about 4 a.m. Monday, with firefighters putting out multiple small fires.