Middelburg blast claims third victim

2013-10-21 14:57

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Johannesburg - A third person has died after last week's blast at the Rolfe pharmaceutical laboratory in the Eastern Cape, the provincial health department said on Monday.

The woman died in Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth on Sunday afternoon, spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said. She had been in intensive care since the explosion last Monday.

The other two died on Wednesday and Thursday.

Forty people were taken to Wilhelm Stahl Hospital where they were treated for injuries after the explosion in Middelburg, said Kupelo.

The badly injured were transferred to the Dora Nginza and Livingstone hospitals in Port Elizabeth, and the Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in East London.

Kupelo said the department used two helicopters to rescue people from the flames.

Twenty-one people who were in a critical but stable condition were still receiving treatment.

Police spokesperson Stefanie Smith said the cause of the explosion was still not known and they were waiting for the forensic investigation to be completed.

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