August 13, 2018 / 1:01 PM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-Brazilian steelmaker Usiminas resumes operations after blast

(Adds furnace resumption, timeline for other furnace)

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Brazilian steelmaker Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA said on Monday it expects blast furnace 3 at its Ipatinga plant to resume functioning on Wednesday, after an explosion at the factory on Friday injured 34 workers.

The company, known as Usiminas, said blast furnaces 1 and 2 were already operating, adding that it does not yet have an estimate for the operational or financial impact from the incident.

The blast was centered on a huge barrel-shaped piece of equipment that stores gases released during steel production. All those injured in the incident have left the hospital, the company said on Saturday.

The plant at Ipatinga in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais produced 813,000 tons of crude steel between April and June of this year, the company said in its latest earnings report. (Reporting by Raquel Stenzel Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Paul Simao)

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