Posted on: August 14, 2009 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

South Africa. Authorities are investigating the cause of a blast at a scrap metal recycling company in Benoni which left five people injured.

The workers were apparently dismantling two gas canisters which exploded on Thursday afternoon.

An eye-witness reported, “I saw nearly the whole thing as I came out of the office (missed the first explosion) from a distance. There was actually a series of explosions about 10-20 seconds apart, each one producing a fireball of about 200-300ft into the air. These were not only fireballs but also what looked like huge pieces of molten sparks (like a fire cracker) framing the fireball. If anyone has actually seen real high explosive ammo (not the hollywood variety) from artillery etc going off then you know what it looked like… just bigger.”

Ekurhuleni emergency services’ Roggers Mamaila said, “It’s very rare to find a fire at a steel company because these guys are dealing with scrap metal. As to what caused this, we’re not sure.”

There was a standoff at the entrance when security guards refused to allow firefighters to enter the premises.

It is unclear why they were refused entry.

The Reclamation Group’s Clayton Forster said the investigation into the cause of the blaze would be thorough.

“What we can say is there was an explosion through two vessels. We are looking into the scene at the moment.”

The five workers are recovering in hospital.

Source: Eye Witness News & Others

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