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Wednesday, 11 September, 2002, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
September 11 steel recycled
Steel furnace
Salvaged steel will be used for construction in India

In the north Indian state of Punjab, scrap metal salvaged from the debris of the World Trade Center in New York is being recycled to produce steel for use in building construction.

Nearly 20,000 tons of heavy melting scrap, was recently shipped across the globe to Punjab's main steel town of Mandi Gobindgarh, some 300 kilometres north of Delhi.

The scrap metal will be reprocessed in dozens of furnaces in one of Asia's biggest steel smelting towns.

Steel from the huge concrete columns that once supported the grand twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, will now be smelted to construct new buildings across north India.

India's steel city

Dozens of privately-run steel furnaces are currently engaged in reprocessing the scrap into fresh steel ingots.

The owner of one of the steel factories, Manu Bansal, who received a substantial portion of the WTC scrap shipment, told the BBC that the material had arrived this July and had been routed from New York through an international scrap metal dealer.

Mr Bansal, who receives steel shipments from all over the world, said the steel from the sky-scrapers looked no different from other steel he had received in the past.

In any case, any distinctive features, would have been lost forever in the high temperature furnaces that melt the material into ingots of raw metal.

Steel merchants unaware

The steel is then rolled into standard lengths to be used in construction.

Ground Zero, New York
Tons of steel were retrieved from Ground Zero
Mr Bansal and the other steel merchants at Mandi Gobindgarh said they were unaware of the origin of the scrap metal when it originally reached their yards.

They said they would in future refuse to pick up any more scrap from the WTC.

Mr Bansal explained that memories of the huge tragedy of September 11, and the suffering of thousands of victims was, "far too disturbing."

Nevertheless, builders in north India, who naturally source their steel requirements from the factories of Mandi Gobindgarh, can perhaps now boast that the steel supporting their buildings was once used in some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world.


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11 Sep 02 | Americas
11 Sep 02 | Americas
10 Sep 02 | Asia-Pacific
11 Sep 02 | Americas
17 Jan 02 | South Asia
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