At least six people have died‚ including defence force personnel‚ and more than a dozen have been injured in an apparent gas leak at the Naval Base on Durban’s Bluff.
It is understood that men had been working in a partially flooded underground shaft or pit inside a disused building at the Naval Base‚ according to a source with knowledge of the incident.
Several of the dead are members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). The injured were transported by private and military ambulances to Durban hospitals.
SANDF spokesperson Marumo Machete said he was not aware of the incident but would make inquiries.
ER 24 spokesman Russel Meiring confirmed the six deaths‚ in what he called a “freak accident”.
“ER24 paramedics arrived on the scene and found rescue teams already in attendance. Rescue teams had already retrieved the bodies of six men from the sewer pit‚” he said.
Other people had minor injuries‚ he added.
Earlier in the week‚ one SANDF member died when the flatbed truck transporting a tanker was involved in an accident. Then‚ on Wednesday‚ another SANDF member drowned while swimming in the sea off Durban’s main beachfront.