One engineer in ICU, other two recovering

2013-12-24 00:00

TWO of the three Msunduzi engineers injured when a substation exploded last week are on the road to recovery, while the third is in a critical but stable condition at St Anne’s Hospital.

The three received third degree burns after a switchgear exploded last Thursday night.

Msunduzi head of electricity, Sabatha Nomnganga, said yesterday that Freeway Mthembu and Ace Mnikathi were recovering but Ntando Mgwili was still in intensive care.

Nomnganga said that an investigation since the incident revealed that the explosion could have been caused by cable thieves who were operating nearby. He said they had since collected evidence showing that cable thieves were operating in the area.

Nomnganga said the police were working with the municipality and that they had appointed a security company to safeguard facilities.

Meanwhile, the explosion led to power surges in homes, causing domestic appliances to blow up.

Tony Ferreira of Pelham said that at 2 am on Wednesday he woke to the sound of explosions in his house, “Our appliances were popping and lighting up.”

Acting Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Nqobile Madonda, advised people who want to lodge claims against the municipality to ask their own insurance companies to contact the municipality.

They could also call the municipality’s main switchboard and ask to be put through to municipal insurance, which handled the claims.

She asked residents not to phone the call centre or electricity department for insurance claims.

While cable theft is causing substations to explode, illegal connections continue to take their toll.

Last week yet another person was electrocuted through an illegal connection close to the informal settlements in Copesville. Fano Dombela (27) was found dead tangled in wires.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said Mountain Rise police had opened an inquest docket.

Witness records show that this year there have been 12 deaths in the city as a result of electrocution.

One of the victims was a police dog.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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