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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 14:42 
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Joined: 21 Apr 2010, 09:51
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Location: cape town
Some sad news :cry:

http://m.news24.com/news24/SouthAfrica/News/6-dead-26-hospitalised-after-durban-naval-base-freak-accident-20170217

I wonder if this was due to the lack of proper infrastructure upgrades since the reinstatement to a naval base status.

Also, aren't they currently busy with armed forces week on Durban?

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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 17:06 
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Joined: 13 Jul 2004, 13:06
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Location: In .... S.E.A & M.E.N.A. et al
Retrieved fatalities from a 'sewer pit'..... :shock: :? Wonder what they were doing in it?


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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 17:22 
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Joined: 07 Apr 2008, 11:50
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Spice wrote:
Retrieved fatalities from a 'sewer pit'..... :shock: :? Wonder what they were doing in it?

Probably members of the Army "construction unit" constructing or repairing the sewage system.. A likely scenario is that heavier-than-air gas (could be any of a wide variety of gasses) leaked and settled in the bottom of the sewer pit where the six were poisoned. The other casualties probably had less exposure to the gas. Sewers produce gasses such as methane and carbon dioxide, both deadly at even moderate concentrations, or it could be welding gasses.


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2017, 22:24 
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
That is so sad and unnecessary. In the industry I'm in (construction) a sewer like that is deemed to be a confined space and requires a specific safety risk assessment and permit for work to proceed. There'd also be a safety standby to monitor entry. Forced ventilation may also be useful. Dunno if any of that was done. Very tragic. :(


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2017, 13:16 
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Mistral wrote:
That is so sad and unnecessary. In the industry I'm in (construction) a sewer like that is deemed to be a confined space and requires a specific safety risk assessment and permit for work to proceed. There'd also be a safety standby to monitor entry. Forced ventilation may also be useful. Dunno if any of that was done. Very tragic. :(

At the very least they should have had a gas detector/air quality monitor/alarm - it's common knowlege that sewers contain methane. This is a case of simple negligence, they obviously had no way to monitor oxygen/methane levels.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2017, 14:36 
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Joined: 24 Sep 2014, 11:27
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Location: City of Cape Town
Media statement from the SANDF (via SA Legion on Facebook):

MEDIA STATEMENT
DATE: 18 February 2017
EMBARGO: Immediate
UPDATE: LOSS OF SANDF MEMBERS’ LIVES AT NAVAL BASE DURBAN

The Chief of the South African National Defence Force, General Solly Shoke, has following consultation with the families of the sailors who lost their lives during the attempted rescue of the three Public Works employees at Durban Naval Base on 17 February released the names of the deceased sailors.

The deceased are: Leading Seaman Amrithlall Tothara Ramdin (41) from Naval Base Durban residing in Bluff, Able Seaman Francois William Mundell (26) from SAS MAKHANDA residing in George, Western Cape and Seaman Henro Ter Borg (21) from Maritime Reaction Squadron, residing in Brackenfell, Cape Town. Seaman Ter Borg was on a Tour of Duty in Durban for the 2017 Armed Forces Day celebrations.

The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Defence Secretary Dr Sam Gulube join the Chief of the SANDF together with the Chief of the SA Navy, Vice Admiral Mosiwa Hlongwane in expressing heartfelt condolences to the families and colleagues of the deceased.

The Military Police with members of the South African Police Service are continuing with their investigations to establish the circumstances that led to this painful episode. The Chief of the SA Navy has also convened a Board of Enquiry to further investigation the matter and bring the families some form of closure.

Members of the media are kindly urged to allow the bereaved families time and space to mourn and deal with their unimaginable loss with the dignity they deserve.

The funeral arrangements for the fallen soldiers will be announced in due course.

The incident happened yesterday while members of the Department of Public Works were working on a sewage valve when gas fumes leaked out and affected their breathing. They tried to escape the pit; however they were overwhelmed by the toxic gases and passed out. One contractor ran for assistance and approached the Maritime Reaction Squadron bus passing nearby. The three SANDF members unselfishly reacted swiftly with the intention to save the lives of their fellow countrymen but unfortunately succumbed to the high levels of fumes in the pit and passed on.

As more assistance arrived, members descended down the pit through a Compressed Air Breathing Apparatus and recovered six members to the top of the pit. All resuscitation attempts could not save the three sailors. Paramedics on the scene conducted the final assessment and declared all six members (Public Works included) dead.

Twenty-four other members that assisted with the recovery of the bodies were taken to St Augustine Hospital where they were treated for shortness of breath. All members underwent Chest X-rays and were cleared. One member from Naval Base Durban was admitted to Hospital for further observation.

The Chief of the SANDF is proud to lead a military with patriotic servicemen and women who are always ready to respond to the call of duty and put their lives on the line just so South Africans could feel protected. These sailors who laid down their lives, did so while on a noble duty to save the lives of fellow South Africans in distress and their actions are commended.


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