Veld fire caused gas pipe blaze

2010-08-11 11:04
Johannesburg - A veld fire caused the massive blaze on a section of the Egoli Gas pipeline in City Deep in Johannesburg, the company said on Wednesday.

"Repairs are basically complete," said Egoli Gas spokesperson Henry Viljoen after the dramatic blaze in Vickers Road on Tuesday night.

Firefighters spent at least five hours dousing the huge flames coming out of the damaged pipeline in the industrial area, south-west of the city.

Viljoen said service had been restored with a temporary pipeline and seal, and the permanent line should be in place by Wednesday afternoon.

He said a veld fire had destroyed a seal on a section of the pipeline that was not underground due to soil conditions there.

Inferno

The pressure in the pipeline kept the blaze going and the flames high for a lengthy period, until the firefighters and Egoli Gas employees brought it under control with the help of closing a section to drop the pressure.

He said there was no health risk to people in the area although the air may have a sulphur smell to it.

Viljoen said there had not been an explosion, and nobody was injured during the fire.

Johannesburg emergency services spokesperson Percy Morokane said the fire began at 22:30 and resembled an oil rig fire with flames up to 10m high.

"This was quite the inferno... thankfully it did not spread, our firefighters did an exceptional job," said Morokane.

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- SAPA
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