WATCH | Demolition of idle AK Steel site in Ashland, Ky

A man who used to work here says it was sad to see but is also part of moving on.
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 8:55 AM EST
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ASHLAND, Ky (WSAZ) - The Amanda Furnace at AK Steel near Ashland was demolished Tuesday morning.

Social media lit up with people miles away reporting feeling what they thought was an earthquake.

The AK Steel company was bought out by Cleveland Cliffs weeks after the plant closed in 2019.

The plant had been idle since 2015.

A crowd of onlookers came to take in the blasts at 8:30 a.m.

Jim Anderson worked as an engineer there for 30 years.

“It’s quite emotional for a lot of people,” Anderson said. “When I heard it was coming down, I just felt like I needed to get up this morning and come down one more time and see the old girl taken down. It was sad, but it’s also part of moving on. The plant has been here a hundred years, so it’s had a good, long run. It’s provided a lot of prosperity and assistance and help and growth to this area.”

Anderson says he’s hopeful as one era closes for the beginning of another.

“They’ll find something to do with this property,” he said. “I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I’m very hopeful it will still be a benefit and a blessing to this area.”

Cleveland-Cliffs says crews will prepare the site for better use.

According to the company, “the entire project will be a positive cash flow generator for Cleveland-Cliffs and certainly a positive for the Ashland area.”

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Demolition of idle steel mill in Russell, Kentucky.
Demolition of idle steel mill in Russell, Kentucky.

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