Municipal contractors lucky to be alive after cable explodes

2009-09-01 00:00

WORKERS contracted to the Msunduzi Municipality are lucky to be alive after an electrical cable exploded while they were attempting to fix it on Saturday.

The contractors had been deployed to Cypress Way to repair a cable that had been faulty since Thursday night.

According to inside sources, the contractors were brought in when the municipality was not able to carry out the repairs.

Sources told The Witness the municipality had such a difficult time fixing the faulty cable that three different companies were called in to repair the fault.

The faulty cable affected the power supply in Allandale, Northdale and Raisethorpe for four days from Thursday.

When the contractors went to the scene, they were expecting to work on a “dead” cable, the sources said.

However, they discovered that the cable was live when it blew up during the repair.

Four workers were burned, while another had his shoulder dislocated.

The workers were taken to Daymed Hospital for treatment before being taken to Northdale Hospital.

By yesterday afternoon, two of them were still in hospital, although neither was in a critical condition, said sources.

The owner of the company was reluctant to comment, but sources told The Witness that an in-depth inquiry will have to be conducted to find out what happened.

Deputy municipal manager for infrastructure services Phil Mashoko said a conclusion could only be drawn after a full investigation has been conducted.

“At this stage, we have no information as we have not yet had a report on the incident from the contractor,” said Mashoko.

He said the use of contractors is not unique.

The municipality uses them on a daily basis, when the amount and the nature of the work is too much for full-time municipal employees to handle.

Meanwhile, parts of Hilton and Sweetwaters were without electricity yesterday when a cable supplying those areas “blew up” at about 1.30 pm.

Mashoko said workers managed to isolate the fault and were working on the problem.

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