A number of people have been injured following a massive explosion at one of the chemical plants on Otto Volek Road between Pinetown and New Germany, west of Durban, on Tuesday.
Advanced Life Support Paramedic spokesperson, Garrith Jamieson, says personnel from various services are on the scene.
Strong winds are making it difficult for firefighters to extinguish the fire after the massive explosion. The roads have been closed off.
Videos on social media show billowing flames, followed by multiple smaller explosions.
Huge fire in Otto Volek road, Pinetown pic.twitter.com/Ep21NVmnGR
— JustJude (@judebax) December 8, 2020
People are being treated on the scene. There have been no fatalities reported as yet.
An eye witness, Lee Maharaj, from the Clare Estate Action Committee, is urging drivers to avoid the M19.
“We have the Fire Department on scene who are trying to control the blaze but the fire is actually spreading because of the wind. As the explosions are happening, wherever the shrapnel is falling the fire is starting up there. All motorists on the M19 should exercise caution in that area. We do have some people that are trying to weave their way onto the verge of the roads to try and see what’s going on. It is dangerous to do this especially on the blind bends so exercise caution in the area.”
Otto Volek road Pinetown factory fire. AVOID AREA MULTIPLE EXPLOSIONS. pic.twitter.com/cy3eAtV44w
— Paul (@DurbanFire) December 8, 2020
The explosion is the second to hit the Durban area in less than a week.
On Friday, the Engine Refinery in Wentworth exploded – leaving seven people injured.