A fire that produced masses of black smoke broke out at 3:00 p.m. on a 10-m-high belt conveyor used to carry ore to the blast-furnace bins of an upper-tier Seveso iron and steel plant. Alerted by a rotation fault alarm in the control room, technicians went to the blast furnace and attempted, albeit unsuccessfully, to fight the flames with extinguishers. The onsite fire-fighters were called in, followed by the public fire-fighters. The fire was extinguished with two nozzles (including one foam nozzle) at around 6:00 p.m. The conveyor had to be shut down for four days, but this did not significantly affect production.
The fire was caused by the belt, which jackknifed at its take-up drum and rubbed against it, creating a hot spot that caused the belt to ignite. The malfunction of the take-up drum was caused by a blocked bearing. Between now and 2013, the operator plans to fit belt drift detection and alarm systems and systems to measure the temperature of the bearing housings of the drums.