Drop mic: Diesel spillage causes evacuation at SABC's Radio Park

15 May 2019 - 13:05 By timeslive
Emergency services staff at the SABC building in Johannesburg on May 15 2019.
Emergency services staff at the SABC building in Johannesburg on May 15 2019.
Image: Sunday Times/Alaister Russell

Radio staff at the SABC were evacuated from their building in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

The SABC confirmed in a statement that there had been a diesel spillage at its Radio Park building.

"There was a power outage earlier this morning which resulted in the SABC's internal systems switching from City Power to the back-up generator. Due to the failure of the equipment, this led to the diesel tank overflowing," said SABC spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu.

"The health and safety of SABC employees is of paramount importance and, as a precautionary measure, all our employees from the Radio Park building have been safely evacuated."

An employee, who asked not to be named, said she went downstairs for coffee when there was a power outage. She works on the 25th floor.

"We were waiting for the power to come back on and after two hours they sounded the alarm and told us to evacuate.

"There were some [people] that were panicking and some were given oxygen by Netcare and then taken to hospital."

Gauteng emergency services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said they had received a call from the fire marshals at around 8am on Wednesday.

Mulaudzi said there had been a diesel spillage on the 15th floor from a standby generator.

"There was a leakage and it mostly affected the 15th floor which is flooded all the way down to the 8th floor."

"There is a risk of fire if we don't manage it properly."

It was not clear how long mop-up operations would take.

Mulaudzi said nobody was injured.

Radio stations affected included MetroFM, 5FM and Radio2000.