Two badly hurt in blast at Mondi site

2008-03-29 00:00

TWO employees are fighting for their lives in hospital after suffering burns during an explosion at the Mondi bleaching plant in Richards Bay yesterday.

A filtrate tank ruptured, causing severe burn injuries to the employees. The cause of the blast was still a mystery yesterday.

In a media statement, Mondi South Africa CEO Ron Traill said it is “too early to provide a prognosis”.

He said the company and independent assessors have launched an investigation.

Traill said all relevant authorities were informed of the incident and the Labour Department has completed an initial site inspection.

“As a further precautionary measure, Mondi will undertake further detailed inspections on similarly constructed tanks, which will be restarted on successful completion,” said Traill.

He said that the line may be closed for as long as nine days so that a replacement of the ruptured tank can be installed, but management is considering an alternative that could see the line operating again in two or three days.

“We were, of course, shocked by the event of this morning. We have adopted world-class best practices in improving our safety record where we aspire to achieve zero harm,” he said.

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