By Hassan Isilow
At least six people have died Friday and over 20 were injured after being exposed to leaking methane gas in an underground facility at a naval base in the coastal city of Durban.
A statement issued by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), said three of the deceased were soldiers who had rushed underground to rescue three civilian workers exposed to the harmful gas.
“Unfortunately, the SANDF members who responded to the call to save their countrymen were exposed to high levels of methane gas and also succumbed.” SANDF’s Brig. Gen. Mafi Mgobozi said in a statement emailed to Anadolu Agency.
According to emergency services, 26 injured workers were rushed to hospitals around Durban for treatment.
“The Military Police and South Africa Police Service are conducting an investigation to determine the cause of death,” the statement further said.
Defense Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, conveyed her condolences to families and colleagues of the deceased.