Updated: Loud booms heard and smoke seen around Birmingham

Update 1:15pm:

U.S. Steel has released the following statement:"Mid morning on Friday, August 17, a controlled pour of iron was conducted at U. S. Steel Fairfield Works.{} A controlled pour of iron is an infrequent necessity in order to safely handle hot metal.{} It involves pouring iron out of the ladle onto a prepared surface location.{} All safety precautions were taken and no one was injured in the pour.{} Due to moisture accumulation, the pour did result in loud noises and an occurrence of visible emissions.{} Operations were not impacted"


Update 10:35am:

A person identifying himself as an employee of U.S. Steel tells us that "the blast furnace rolled over"{} meaning there was a shift in the melting materials being used.


We received several calls from viewers this morning that had heard numerous loud booms and could see this smoke around Birmingham.

ABC 33/40 has learned that it is something that has happened at U.S. Steel, but we have been unable to confirm exactly what. As of 10:15am, U.S. Steel has not answered questions from our newsroom other than to say it was not an explosion.