Exploding house hits neighbours

2017-06-06 06:01
The explosion at a house in Montclair Road in Mowbray are costing surrounding neighbours thousands of rands.PHOTOs: NOmzamo Yuku

The explosion at a house in Montclair Road in Mowbray are costing surrounding neighbours thousands of rands.PHOTOs: NOmzamo Yuku

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A gas explosion in a Mowbray abalone poaching house is expected to cost neighbours thousands of rands.

Around four houses were affected when a leaking gas cylinder exploded last Sunday, injuring two of the three occupants.

According to neighbours the sound of the explosion at around 08:00 gave everyone around Montclair Street a fright.

Resident Joy Willemse (66) says she was so frightened that she even forgot her name and was shaking for the rest of the day.

Shocked residents quickly called the police, but as if the shock of the explosion had not been enough, they were in for more disturbing news: The three occupants, aged between 52 and 53, were illegally dealing in ­abalone.

Willemse says the garage door of the poachers’ house blew to her front door, shook her walls and broke all four windows in the front.

“I was in the bedroom and we heard this loud sound. Suddenly all the neighbours were here and apparently we were the worst affected. This all cost me R12 400, including fixing my new [window] blinds,” says ­Willemse.

The house of another resident, who did not want to be named, is separated from the poachers’ house by only a wall. He says he was angry about the cost of fixing all his damages. His garage wall was badly cracked, most of his windows were broken, electricity wires in the garage were damaged and light globes had to be replaced.

He says in the many years he has lived in the area, this is the first time something like this has happened.

“Let alone illegal dealing, who would have thought? We were all shocked. They must have been so good with it that not a smell would come out.”

The occupants of the poachers’ house were arrested and are facing two charges, one for processing fish illegally and the other for possession of abalone. They have made their first court appearance in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court and are still being treated for third-degree burn wounds in hospital under police guard.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk says: “[The explosion was] due to gas leaking in the garage where some abalone was packed for drying. The case is under investigation.”

The abalone had been stored in plastic bags and containers and is estimated to have a street value of R2.8m.

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