Two dead in gas blast in Cape
Western Cape / 14 Feb '13, 08:56am
Cape Town - An explosion on the premises of a global gas supplier in the city on Wednesday resulted in two deaths and two people losing their legs.
A total of six people were wounded in the blast at Global Gases in the Atlas Gardens Business Park in Contermanskloof, Durbanville.
File photo: Bongiwe Mchunu. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS
The explosion occurred just before 4pm.
City fire and rescue spokesman Theo Layne said six men were injured. They were treated by paramedics on the scene before being sent to hospitals around Cape Town.
“One man had both legs amputated and another had his left leg amputated,” said Layne.
“Both were amputated below the knees.”
Layne said a gas compressor the deceased worker had been working on had exploded.
The SA Paramedic Services later reported that one of the workers was in a serious but stable condition and that the other five were stable.
Air Mercy Services (AMS) spokeswoman Vanessa Horn said their team airlifted the patient, who had lost both legs in the blast, to the Milnerton Mediclinic for further treatment.
“The only person we airlifted was one male patient with a bilateral amputation, the others must have been transported by ER24 or EMS,” Horn said.
The explosion happened during working hours and caused a great deal of damage, said Global Gases attorney Michael England.
“The explosion occurred when there was repair work being done to the compressor, during working hours.”
“A part of the roof was blown off and a side wall was also blown off,” England said.
He said the explosion had only affected one part of the building.
“We cannot advise the names of the deceased or the injured because the next-of-kin have not yet been notified, but there was a substantial amount of property damage,” England said.
The incident caused severe traffic congestion and resulted in delays for those leaving the city.
Traffic officials urged road users via social networks to make way for rescue vehicles on their way to the scene.
Global Gases is a worldwide supplier of industrial and speciality gases to offshore clients and to medical markets. The company has eight production facilities around the world.
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