Two die in factory fire

2012-01-21 00:00

DURBAN authorities have told Weekend Witness that the police will investigate a case of arson in Thursday night’s fatal factory fire in the Jacobs industrial area, in which two people died.

“It might not be the case that foul play was involved, but two people died in the fire so we are treating it as seriously as possible,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mdunge.

eThekwini fire department divisional commander Max Magnussen said the fire unit were called to Chemical Technologies on Brooklyn Road just after midnight and finally put the fire out yesterday morning. They are assisting the police in finding out what caused the blaze.

Magnussen said when firefighters arrived on scene the building was engulfed in flames and the fire had already spread to the top of the factory. In a statement released yesterday the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance said it was not known whether the workers died in the explosion or from inhaling toxic smoke. “The first explosion shook up all the families that live close [by] and residents ran out of their homes in their bare (sic) clothing to see what was going on.” read the statement.

Residents stated that they heard screams, and then suddenly it was quiet. By that time approximately 100 onlookers from the local community were looking at the fire, and were heard asking why the emergency services were taking so long to arrive.”

• jonathan.faurie@witness.co.za

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