WATCH | Massive explosion at Engen refinery in Durban

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  • Emergency services responded to a massive explosion at the Engen Refinery in Wentworth, Durban, shortly after 07:00 on Friday.
  • One person was injured and six people were treated for smoke inhalation. 
  • The fire has since been extinguished and investigations into the cause of the explosion are under way. 


Emergency services responded to a massive explosion at the Engen Refinery in Wentworth, Durban, shortly after 07:00 on Friday.

KwaZulu-Natal emergency services spokesperson Robert McKenzie confirmed the incident and said fire and smoke could be seen billowing from the refinery.

He said the cause of the explosion has not yet been established. Six people were treated for smoke inhalation.

McKenzie added that a block of flats on Beach Road opposite the refinery also caught fire, but this has since been extinguished and no injuries were reported.

At around 09:10, advanced life support paramedic Garrith Jamieson told News24 emergency services were beginning to leave the scene of the explosion. One person was injured and taken to hospital after being struck in the hip by an unknown object. The fire had been contained, he added. 

Fire extinguished

Engen spokesperson Gavin Smith said the fire was successfully extinguished at 08:45.

"Engen's emergency response team and eThekwini emergency services were immediately mobilised to contain the incident. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

"All relevant authorities have been informed and full cooperation has been provided. Engen will provide an update about the incident as soon as further information is available. Safeguarding the health, safety and well-being of our people, community and environment remains our utmost priority," Smith said. 

In November 2008, the refinery was shut for about four months following an explosion. In 2007, a fire caused by a lightning strike to a fuel storage tank burnt for three days and cost the refinery R210 million.


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