City closes factory down after two die

2013-02-15 11:33

The City of Cape Town has temporarily closed the Global Gases factory where two men were killed in an explosion.

“After the joint inspection that was conducted by the authorities yesterday, a prohibition order was issued to the management that the facility will be shut down,” disaster risk centre spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said.

A team of specialists from the city, together with the labour department and police, investigated Wednesday’s blast.

A notice was issued to conduct emergency repair work on the building to make the area safe. The notice was issued in terms of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act.

Solomons-Johannes said a private service provider, Comp Air, had been contracted to repair a compressor at the factory, in the Atlas Gardens industrial park.

Around 4pm a compressor and gas cylinders exploded, ripping out the windows and sections of the corrugated iron roof.

Technician Martin O’Connor was killed and Global Gases technical supervisor Saji Thekkemalayil Chandrasekharaan lost a leg. He died in hospital.

Chandrasekharaan had been in the country on a valid work permit.

Two others were recovering in intensive care. Contractor Brandon Pretorius had both legs amputated and was in a critical but stable condition. Jean Rossouw was serious but stable.

The city’s fire and rescue services spokesman Theo Layne said four others sustained minor injuries.

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