Vandalism could have been fatal 

From Staff Reports

   A serious case of vandalism at the Alcoa plant, 1999 Stateline Road, cost the company approximately $50,000 in lost wages and operating costs and could have cost someone their life, managers reported Wednesday to Elizabethton Police.
   According to Ptl. Richard Haney, Human Resources Manager Kerri Baxter, Extrusion Manager Lynn Keys and Inget Manager Earl Walsh told the officer that their press jammed while the operator was sending a piece of aluminum through it. Further investigation revealed a Steel I-bolt encased in the aluminum. An ultrasonic search of the aluminum in the plant revealed six other pieces of steel encased in the aluminum.
   Managers told the officer the vandalism could have caused a fatal accident in two ways: Because the steel is not soft enough to be pressed through the die, it causes the press to jam. The jam would cause a large amount of pressure to build and eventually shoot from the die; another possibility is that if the saw used to cut the aluminum hits the steel, which is much harder than the aluminum, it would have broken the blade, possibly sending it back into the operator.
   Managers told the officer the aluminum had to be in its molten state when the steel was placed inside it. The aluminum is stamped with a number, and all of the aluminum which had steel in it was found to have the same number. It was processed March 14.
   Anyone with information is urged to contact Elizabethton Police Department, 542-4141.