Cops launch inquest into harbour blast

The Oceana Group Limited says the fatal explosion aboard one of their fishing trawlers, docked near Amawandle Hake in Table Bay Harbour, will be fully investigated.

Contractors were busy with repairs on the vessel identified as the Realeka around 5 pm on Monday when a nitrogen tank exploded, resulting in the death of one man.

The explosion happened while a manufacturing company was installing and testing new equipment on Realeka, alongside the Elbow Quay.

A 49-year-old man was declared dead at the site while five other men were injured.

Emergency personnel combed the scene for several hours while the engine room was ventilated to get rid of refrigeration gas, which can be an ammonia-containing combination.

Details surrounding the incident remain sketchy but according to a source, the workers were doing a pressure test.

“I left at around 1pm in the afternoon so it’s still unclear (what happened). I know the guy that did the pressure test is from South Africa,” he says.

Oceana Group Limited’s communications manager, Tiana Fataar said two people are being treated for serious injuries while the others who were treated for minor injuries have been discharged.

“Our thoughts are with all the affected families, and we are working together with the manufacturer to provide whatever support is necessary,” she said.

Earlier yesterday, before retracting their statement, Saps reported that another person had succumbed to his injuries in hospital, however, Fataar said only one person had died in the incident.

“I’ve verified from our side and there has only been one fatality.”

Fataar couldn’t confirm whether it is one of their employees or from the contractor mentioned.

Yesterday, there was no activity at the site when the Daily Voice visited the scene.

With heavy-duty vehicles constantly coming and going, it was business as usual for the nearby shipping companies, including I&J.

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