PICS: Man rushed to hospital after Worcester gas explosion 'obliterates' his car

2019-07-10 10:49
Bennie Koch (Supplied)

Bennie Koch (Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A logistics manager was injured when a gas tanker exploded, while he was nearby in his vehicle in Worcester on Wednesday morning, according to various sources.

Moreson Earthmovers director Alwyn Visser confirmed to News24 that their logistics manager Bennie Koch had been rushed to hospital.

"His vehicle was turned over in the explosion and he crept out the vehicle," he said. "He had a wound on his back, but we don't know anything more."

Koch has worked for the Robertson company for a few years. Visser said they were shocked at the news and waiting to hear more on his condition.

The SA Long-Distance Truckers group told News24 that Koch, who had worked as a trucker in the past, had been driving by at the time and that his vehicle was "obliterated".

They said he was in a critical condition at a hospital in Worcester.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Bennie and his family."

The vehicle that flipped in the explosion (Supplied)

Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell said that the situation report indicated that the driver of the tanker had reversed into a lamp pole, causing damage to the tank, releasing a vapour cloud. 

"A civilian bakkie drove through the cloud, causing a fire and the explosion. The driver of the bakkie is the civilian currently in ICU with some burn wounds," said Bredell.

"The good thing was that this incident occurred at a time of day when there was little traffic and few people around."

The explosion happened around 06:10 and SAPS forensic officers were on the scene to investigate, said Theo Botha, the chief fire officer for the Breede Valley Fire and Rescue Services.

He also confirmed that a civilian, who was in his vehicle at the time, had sustained burn wounds and was taken to hospital.

"Two firefighters who received minor injuries have been discharged," he said.

"The driver was inside the tanker at the time, but he fortunately started evacuating before the explosion took place. As far as I know, he was not injured."

(Supplied by Kenny Africa)

Botha said about four buildings had been completely destroyed, while around five were partially damaged.

Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa earlier told News24 that a biltong shop, the Bike Boutique and the Department of Water and Sanitation building were among the buildings destroyed in the blaze.

Bredell said there appeared to be some damage to the town's water mains and the electricity infrastructure in the immediate vicinity.

Firefighters would remain on the scene until operations had been concluded.

GET THE NEWS at your fingertips and download the News24 app for Android or iPhone.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    worcester  |  accidents  |  gas explosion

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.