Electrician set alight in Gqeberha substation explosion

An explosion gutted the Arras Road electrical sub station on Saturday afternoon
explosionlorrainesubstation An explosion gutted the Arras Road electrical sub station on Saturday afternoon
Image: Fredlin Adriaan

An electrician was set alight after an explosion in a Lorraine substation on Saturday.

Resident Deon van der Merwe said he heard the explosion in the substation next door to him in Arras Road at about 1.15pm and knew immediately what it was.

“We've been without electricity since yesterday afternoon and I saw a municipal bakkie at the substation earlier so I knew they were working on the problem.”

He said when he heard the bang he ran to his gate and was still letting himself out when he saw the one electrician run out the building on fire.

“I shouted to him to roll and by the time I got out the neighbours from the other side were also there with a blanket to help put out the flames.”

He said the neighbours had already called an ambulance and they sat with the burnt electrician while they waited.

“We tried to keep the sun off him and spoke to him to make sure he stayed conscious. He told us the transformer exploded and he was struggling to get out because he was slipping in fuel that was spilt on the ground.

“The other guy was already outside in the bakkie.

“When the medics arrived they were excellent the way they treated him and put on the gel. They said he had suffered about 70% burn wounds.

“Everyone was excellent the way they came together. It was wonderful to see.”

Metro spokesperson Noma Gara confirmed they were aware of the explosion but no details were immediately available on the electrician's condition.

“The substation has been isolated. Staff are attending. At this stage we don’t know the cause. We are still investigating.”

She said the explosion had caused a power outage in about 300 households.

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