Steel worker dies from burn injuries suffered at Knoxville steel

Steel worker dies from burn injuries suffered at Knoxville steel mill plant

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Knoxville police respond to the scene of an explosion on Tennessee Avenue in North Knoxville. Knoxville police respond to the scene of an explosion on Tennessee Avenue in North Knoxville.
KNOXVILLE (WATE) -  A man who suffered serious burn injuries at a North Knoxville steel mill plant in May died early Tuesday morning at Vanderbilt Hospital.

Several workers at Gerdau Ameristeel plant at 1919 Tennessee Avenue were taken to the hospital on May 15 after a reported explosion.

Six employees were injured in a fire that stemmed from the furnace area of the business. Five of the injured employees were not seriously hurt. They were treated and released from the hospital later that night.

The sixth employee, Larry Releford, was critically injured and taken to Vanderbilt Burn Center where he died Tuesday morning.

Previous Story: 6 employees at North Knoxville steel mill hurt in explosion

Gerdau officials told 6 News they shut the plant down Tuesday to allow employees to grieve. The plant will reopen Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. They also issued the following statement:

"Gerdau is greatly saddened to confirm that an employee injured in the incident at our Knoxville, Tenn., steel mill on Thursday, May 15, passed away early this morning. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and co-workers. The company has been working with the proper authorities to determine the cause of the incident and expects a final report to be released by the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) within the next two months. Out of respect to the family and per company policy, no additional personal information will be shared at this time."
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