Victim of Mkondeni tanker blast dies

2008-01-27 00:00

ONE of the two employees who were critically burned in a tank explosion at Cargo Lite truck company in Mkondeni on Thursday died in hospital the same night, while the other is fighting for his life.

Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha said Malusa Godfrey Ngcobo (23) died in the burns unit at St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban where he and Musa Enoch Mncwabe (31) were transferred.

Ngcobo suffered 100% burns. Mncwabe is fighting for his life.

Labour Department spokeswoman Zolisa Sigabi said department inspectors were on site yesterday gathering evidence and information about the incident.

They await a forensic report from police, which will determine the possible cause of the incident.

The department issued an immediate prohibition notice halting all operations at the company until their investigations are complete.

Inspector Joey Jeevan said on Thursday, shortly after the incident, that chemical samples were taken from the scene and sent to the forensic sciences laboratory.

Sigabi said preliminary investigations by labour inspectors showed that an explosion occurred inside a tank where the workers were painting.

She said that it is alleged by the employer that the lead light fell to the bottom of the tank, broke and set off the explosion.

Ngcobo apparently escaped the tank with all his clothes burnt off his body.

Mncwabe was rescued by fellow workers amid heavy smoke and poor visibility, Sigabi added.

She said an investigation into a worker’s death last August at the company is almost complete and the employer could be prosecuted.

The man was killed when a 25-litre drum he was cutting with an angle grinder exploded, slicing his face and skull.

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