Durban’s Island View oil depot was ablaze on Tuesday night after three tanks exploded.
Hundreds of residents on the Bluff flocked to view flames shooting high into the night sky.
Transnet’s National Ports Authority at Durban said it had received reports of a road tanker which had caught alight at Island View 4, adjacent to the Bulk Connections site.
An emergency response plan for the Island View Complex involving Durban Metro, Transnet National Ports Authority Fire and Emergency Services and Ambulance Services was immediately activated.
Despite efforts to contain the blaze, the fire spread to three storage tanks in the Island View area.
These emergency services continued to fight the blaze on Tuesday night.
Further emergency actions included the evacuation of vessels at Island View berths.
Joint Emergency Services cordoned off access to the area, the National Ports Authority said.
Key personnel in the immediate vicinity of the Island View area had been evacuated.
“At this stage it is not known whether there have been any injuries or casualties,” the National Ports Authority said. “At the time of this release there were no casualties reported.”
A Bluff resident, Ivan Raimbault, said there was an explosion about 7pm.
Ten minutes later the second tank blew. The third one exploded five minutes later.
Raimbault said that his house, which overlooks the depot, shook with the first blast.
Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said there were no reports of any injuries or fatalities.
It was believed that two of the tanks that exploded contained solvents and the third lubricant oil. – Sapa