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Loud Booms at Plant Caused by Water Hitting Hot Metal

Locals thought it was an explosion.

Ak Steel 2
Josh Fitzpatrick, @JoshFitzWx

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) โ€” An official says loud booms that triggered reports of a possible explosion in an Ohio city were caused by the sudden vaporization of rainwater hitting extremely hot metal at a steel plant.

The booms were heard Saturday night near the AK Steel location in Middletown, roughly 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Cincinnati. Workers at the plant were removing slag, a byproduct of the refining process.

A representative for the company doing the removal tells the Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News that the rainfall caused a "louder than usual noise." No one was injured, and no equipment was damaged.

A researcher who retired from Armco, AK Steel's predecessor company, says rapid vaporization can seem to create "explosions without explosive materials."

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