Condolences after Eskom tunnel deaths

2013-10-31 20:10

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Johannesburg - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu offered condolences on Thursday to the families of six people who died in a tunnel collapse at an Eskom construction site near Ladysmith.

"On behalf of the... provincial government and the people of KwaZulu-Natal we take this opportunity to pass our sincerest condolences to the families, relatives and all their next of kin, including their colleagues," he said in a statement.

"We hope they open their hearts and receive peace of mind in the knowledge that their kinsmen died in the line of duty."

Eskom said earlier that six people were confirmed dead at its Ingula pumped storage construction site shortly after 09:00.

"About 15 people were working in the tunnel when a working platform failed and left several people injured. A detailed investigation will be launched into the incident."

IPSS medical response spokesperson Marinus Nabal said six people were injured and taken to hospital.

The body of one of the workers was recovered and a search and rescue team was trying to find the other five.

Mchunu commended Eskom for "for moving swiftly to assure the people of this province and the country that an investigation will be instituted".

"We are praying to the Almighty God to protect those who are still missing. May God grant members of the police and rescue unit strength as they carry out the rescue operation"

The storage scheme, which is under construction, was expected to go live next year.

It involves pumping water up the Drakensberg Mountains from the Braamhoek Dam to the Bedford Dam during off-peak hours, an elevation of about 470m.

Water would then be released through the tunnels to flow down during peak hours, generating electricity.

Read more on:    eskom  |  senzo mchunu  |  durban

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