The large industrial cement mixer into which two workers fell. One was killed and the other seriously injured at the plant near Table View.
A 48-year-old man from Du Noon was killed and another seriously injured after the pair were pulled into the blades of a cement mixing machine on Wednesday morning.
The tragic accident took place just after 7am at Lintels for Africa, a cement-mixing plant just off the N7 highway near Table View.
Bhasobhi Mhkize, 48 and Andile Vuqwana were cleaning the mixer when it suddenly switched on and the two men were pulled into the blades.
Mkhize was declared dead at the scene when paramedics arrived, while Vuqwana was airlifted to Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital in a “very serious condition”.
Hours after the incident, shredded clothes stained with blood lay next to the mixer while police, forensic pathologists and Labour Department inspectors investigated the scene.
Table View police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Daphne Dell said: “The two men were removing all the old cement from the machine when suddenly the mixer switched on and they were pulled into the blades of the machine.
“There is a suspicion that the men accidentally switched the machine on, but at this stage it is unclear what caused the machine to switch on.
“No one else was close to them at the time of the incident.”
Dell said Mhkize’s family were informed and were on the scene after the incident, but were not allowed to see his body.
“An inquest docket has been opened and the investigation is ongoing.
“We will investigate all avenues, as well as negligence, but at this stage we cannot say if anyone was negligent,” Dell said.
When the Cape Times visited the scene, a man who identified himself as the owner looked distraught, but said he did not want to comment on the incident except to say he was “in shock”.
ER24 spokesman Andre Visser said the two men called out from inside the machine, but other workers were only able to pull one of them, Vuqwana, out.
Visser said Vuqwana was in a “very serious condition with threatened lower limbs”.
Western Cape Labour Department spokesman Temba Gubula said they would compile a comprehensive report after investigating.
He said if the employer was suspected to be negligent, the department would recommend to the National Director of Public Prosecutions that he be charged.
“The report will also state whether health and safety measures were adhered to.
“Should we establish that there was any contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, we will issue a compliance order to the company.
“This could go towards a criminal procedure because of the loss of life and serious injuries, depending on the findings of our investigation,” Gubula said.
Source: Cape Times