4 foreigners dead in Eskom accident

Johannesburg - Four of the six men who died in an accident at an Eskom site near Ladysmith were foreigners, Eskom said on Friday.

"Of the six fatalities, four are foreign nationals and two are South Africans," Eskom general manager Gerrie Bronkhorst said.

He would not divulge their nationalities.

"Of those injured, three have been discharged and four are still in the ICU."

Bronkhorst was addressing media along with CEO Brian Dames and chairperson Zola Tsotsi.

Safety first

Dames said an investigation would be led by an external legal team.

"We will ensure that the families are looked after and we will not leave a stone unturned to ensure that they are looked after," Dames said.

"Safety for us is very important. It is important to allow time for the investigation to take place."

Dames said Eskom would not be releasing the names at this time.

The accident happened at Eskom's Ingula pumped storage scheme near Ladysmith on Thursday.

Initial reports on Thursday said only three remained in hospital, but Bronkhorst on Friday said four people were still in the intensive care unit.

Site closed until safety declared

Dames and Tsotsi expressed their condolences to the families of those who died.

"We are determined to make sure that those that died did not die in vain," said Dames.

"Any loss of life is very important for us. This is a big tragedy for us."
Tsotsi described the accident as a setback.

The men were doing welding and grouting on a platform in one of four tunnels when the platform came loose and rolled down the tunnel.

All 3 387 workers on site were evacuated.

Eskom said the site would be closed until it was declared safe.
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