Power utility Eskom says an investigation is underway to determine the exact cause of a major incident on Unit 5 of the Lethabo power station in the northern Free State, which resulted in the death of an employee.

Another employee was also left seriously injured and is currently recovering in hospital.

At this stage, Eskom believes the incident is a result of the rupture of a main steam pipe which is currently not operational.

Operations are however continuing on other units.

Emergency response teams were activated and police went to the site. Officials from the Labour Department and the power utility also travelled to the site.

Eskom Spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe says: “That matter is the subject of an investigation at the moment. The preliminary information that we have though is that it looks like there was a rupture at one of the steam pipes which is one of the high pressure steam pipes which unfortunately caused a lot of commotion; resulting in ash and a lot of debris going out of that unit and unfortunately during that process, we lost one of our employees.”