Mop up operation under way following Durban factory fire

2015-03-26 20:55
A picture posted on Twitter of the Sunflower cooking oil factory burning in Durban. (<a href="" target="_blank">Twitter, Arrive Alive</a>)

A picture posted on Twitter of the Sunflower cooking oil factory burning in Durban. (Twitter, Arrive Alive)

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Durban – A mop up operation in under way at the Port of Durban, following a fire at a cooking oil manufacturer on Thursday morning.

Transnet National Ports Authority said it is working round the clock to confine and mop up the edible oil spill from the fire which broke out at Africa Sun Oil Refineries in Mobeni.

Transnet spokesperson Ayanda Mantshongo said: “In an effort to prevent the spill from entering the port, the port authority has deployed booms across the Umhlatuzana Canal, including at the confluence of the canal and the port. This has helped to contain the oil within the silt canal area, adjacent to the Bluff Yacht Club.”

The oil is being skimmed from the surface and bio-absorbing agents are also being used to mop up the spill.

Said Moshe Motlohi, Port Manager for the Port of Durban said: “The clean-up team is working as fast as it can and operations will continue until the clean-up is complete to ensure minimum impact to the environment.”

The Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife and KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife have been alerted by the port as there is a risk of fish and birds being affected by the spill, Transnet said in a statement. 

On Thursday morning a huge plume of smoke could be seen from as far away as Queensburgh, about 15km.

It was not immediately clear if there were any injuries, but Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said he was not aware of any calls for medical assistance being received.

Robert Mackenzie, spokesperson for the provincial Emergency Medical Service, said they had one report of a person who had injured his arm. However, he said it was not clear whether this injury was linked to the fire or if it was a worker who was injured on duty.


Read more on:    transnet  |  durban  |  fires

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