September 7, 2009 / 3:51 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Arcelormittal SAfrica says worker dies after blast

* Blast furnace operations resume after weekend explosion

* Production loss not quantified

* Arcelormittal unit says starts investigation

(Adds details, background)

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Arcelormittal South Africa Ltd (ACLJ.J), a unit of the world’s top steelmaker, said a worker at its Vanderbijlpark plant died on Monday from injuries sustained after an explosion on Saturday, but operations had since resumed.

Arcelormittal did not say how much production was lost as a result of the accident, which forced the suspension of operations at the furnace until Monday. It said it had started an investigation into the cause of the blast.

The company said the fatality was its first this year following two fatalities in 2007 and two in 2008.

South Africa has the world’s deepest mines and records one of the highest rates of work-related mining deaths in the industrialised world.

Last year 168 workers died in mines, down 24 percent from the previous year. So far this year around 120 miners have died in South African mines this year. (Reporting by Shapi Shacinda)

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