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Probe into fires in Durban and Engen refinery tank explosion

by Zopedol — last modified 2008-09-30 14:04
Released by Department of Labour on 23 May 2007

The death of a worker at the Engen Refinery, south of Durban is being investigated by Department of Labour inspectors.


Preliminary investigations into the horror incident have revealed that the worker, employed as an operator by Capacity Labour Brokers, was instantly killed after a slob tank that was being refilled with Toluene chemical, allegedly exploded.  At the time of the explosion, the worker was on top of the tank, 5 metres above ground, measuring the volume of the chemical that was being transferred into the tank.


The deceased was found to be wearing personal protective equipment, a two piece overall, a hard hat and safety shoes at the time of death.


A follow-up and full scale investigation will be conducted by labour inspectors once the reports from the SAPS, Fire Department and internal investigation by Engen are finalized and submitted to the department.   The cause of the explosion is not yet known.


Meanwhile in two separate incidents, investigations are underway regarding two fires that broke out at the Durban city centre over the past week.


A prohibition notice was also served to contractors halting all construction work at the North Pier in Durban harbour after a fire gutted the north side of the old tunnel.


However, permission was granted for a temporary electrical installation to be installed to pump out water from the tunnel in order to avoid any flooding due to water leaks caused by fire damages to the tunnel.


The second fire was at Bridgepark Industrial Complex at the corner of Acutt Avenue and North Coast Road which gutted three companies on Sunday morning. Southern Textile Trading, Branson Marketing and Primedia were completely burnt down in the blaze.


In both instances, there were no injuries reported but the cause of the fires is still being investigated.

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