IN PICS | At least seven treated for smoke inhalation after Engen refinery explosion

04 December 2020 - 10:37
'The ground started vibrating under my feet,' said a refinery employee who was on site when the explosion occurred.
'The ground started vibrating under my feet,' said a refinery employee who was on site when the explosion occurred.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

It was a black Friday for residents south of Durban after an explosion and massive fire at the Engen refinery caused plumes of thick smoke to hang over Wentworth, Merebank and the Bluff.

At least seven people have been treated for smoke inhalation after the explosion at around 7am. 

Refinery workers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the explosion occurred within the north complex of the refinery.

“I'm pretty sure it's the reactor. This plant is old,” one employee told TimesLIVE.

Another said he was on the premises when the explosion occurred.

“It was loud. My ears were ringing. The ground started vibrating under my feet. We were told to immediately evacuate the premises.”

KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Service spokesperson Robert Mckenzie said six people were treated for smoke inhalation.

“This morning just after 7am there was a massive explosion that could heard emanating from the site. This resulted in a fire and massive plume of smoke. Amazingly, no-one was injured as a result of the explosion. However, paramedics have treated people at the scene for smoke inhalation.”

Advanced life support paramedic Garrith Jamieson said another person was treated and transported to hospital by private ambulance.

The police, metro police and eThekwini fire and rescue are on scene.

A number of roads have been closed due to the explosion including Tara, Nerissa, Basil February and Marine Drive.

Gavin Smith, Engen's communications manager, could not be reached for comment.

TimesLIVE


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