DBN worker drowned in water pipe

2014-10-31 00:00

MILLIONS of litres of water destined for Durbanites will be disinfected after the discovery of the dismembered body of a maintenance worker who went missing on Tuesday.

Theft of vital water infrastructure has been blamed for the man’s death, after he fell into an uncovered tunnel hatch. His body was sucked into the Nagel Aqueduct, a subterranean pipeline that transports millions of cubic metres of water to the city.

The man is thought to have drowned, before his body became wedged in a narrow pipe nearly five kilometres from where he went missing. His body was discovered after a two-day search operation by Umgeni Water officials, police search and rescue officers and IPSS Medical Services.

Umgeni Water spokesperson Shami Harichunder said that theft and vandalism had cost a man his life.

“The metal cover of the tunnel had been stolen, and the worker had fallen inside. Theft of infrastructure is a considerable concern,” he said.

“The body was discovered about five  kilometres from where he had gone missing, and the water had to be shut off for the search operation.”

“We are taking every precaution and are disinfecting the entire line to ensure that the water supply to the city is not contaminated,” Harichunder added.

In another costly case of metal theft in June, a 200-metre bridge carrying one of the city’s main water lines was felled by thieves, who systematically stole the bridge’s support struts. The collapse of the bridge and the vital aqua artery at the hands of scrap-metal thieves posed a risk to Durban’s entire water infrastructure.

The collapse of the bridge left many of Durban’s northern suburbs without water for days, while officials scrambled to solve the problem.

• jeff.wicks@witness.co.za

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.