A massive explosion has hit the Engen Oil Refinery in Durban, South Africa, local police said.
There was an explosion at South Africa’s second-largest crude oil refinery in Durban on Friday morning, a local metropolitan police official told Reuters, adding it was not yet clear whether there had been injuries or deaths.
A spokesman for Engen, which operates the refinery, said he would comment later in a statement.
According to Engen’s website, the Durban plant has a crude refining capacity of 120,000 barrels per day.
The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government has dispatched disaster management and emergency teams to the Engen Refinery in Merebank, south of Durban after a fire broke out at the facility on Friday morning.
Provincial government spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said the teams from both provincial government and the eThekwini Municipality include air quality, environmental management specialists and disaster teams.
“Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Ravi Pillay is communicating with the Engen leadership to facilitate the response. The primary focus at this stage is on attending to the fire whose cause has not yet been established and to prevent any threat.
“MEC Pillay, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka, together with eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, are coordinating the government’s response to the fire.
“At this stage seven people have been treated for smoke inhalation. All are reported to be in a stable condition,” Mabaso said.
Premier Sihle Zikalala is being kept abreast of the developments and further updates will be issued as the day progresses and new information is available.
Includes material from SA News and Tasnim News