Fire Engulfs Durban Refinery.

Massive Flames Engulf Durban Refinery. The brave firefighters from eThekwini Municipality emergency services battled to put out a fire that broke out Africa Sun Oil Refineries, a cooking oil factory. The fire later spread to a neighbouring paint factory in Durban earlier this morning. The factory fire in Durban’s South Coast Road, which raged on […]

Massive Flames Engulf Durban Refinery.

The brave firefighters from eThekwini Municipality emergency services battled to put out a fire that broke out Africa Sun Oil Refineries, a cooking oil factory. The fire later spread to a neighbouring paint factory in Durban earlier this morning.

The factory fire in Durban’s South Coast Road, which raged on was finally contained this afternoon a few few hours later, Robert McKenzie, spokesman for KZN EMS, said. Here is a video which appeared on www.netwerk24.com

Image Credit - Richard Downes Twitter @richardtdownes
Image Credit – Richard Downes Twitter @richardtdownes

 

A picture posted on Twitter of the Sunflower cooking oil factory burning in Durban. (Twitter, Arrive Alive)
A picture posted on Twitter of the Sunflower cooking oil factory burning in Durban. (Twitter, Arrive Alive)

We first got news of it on twitter from Richard Downes @richardtdownes when commuters who were passing by caught a glimpse of it. Up to fifty workers were reportedly on site when the fire broke out, however no injuries have been reported.

Many residents were in a panic once the fire broke. ” Please can we get an update on the fire and explosions raging at some factory in the Durban South area? Its like something out the movies. There is even ash falling from the thick black cloud stretching from the site of the devastation, down to Amanzimtoti!”

Durban Fire: Credit - Malcolm Porter Twitter @malcolm_porter
Durban Fire: Credit – Malcolm Porter Twitter @malcolm_porter

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Curious commuters on their way to work were caught in traffic as motorists stopped to see what was happening. The large fire, whose cause is still unknown, is said to have started just after 5am. Africa Sun Oil Refineries produces cooking oil, beauty and laundry soap and margarine.

Municipal spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng said that emergency personnel had been called to the scene to get the blaze under control. He added there were fears of the fire spreading to nearby factories on the same road.

However, provincial Emergency Medical Services spokesperson Robert McKenzie said the blaze had completely destroyed a section of the cooking oil factory, and that several firefighters had sustained minor injuries.

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A screengrab from eNCA’s footage of the fire at the Africa SunOil Refineries factory. Credit: eNCA

The plumes of black smoke could be seen as far as Chatsworth and residents in Wentworth complained of “raining ash”. According to a Montclair resident, explosions were heard around 5.45am, although some say the fire started at about midnight. Smoke could be seen as far as Chatsworth.

Firefighters struggled  to control the raging fire which then spread to an adjacent paint factory. The damaged sustained by the neighbouring Kansai Plascon manufacturing plant is still unknown.

South Coast Road has been closed where it goes past the affected area, while Metrorail has suspended its operations between Umlazi and Durban because of the fire.There were about 15 fire vehicles on the scene this morning, as well as several private and provincial ambulances.

Emergency services have asked motorists and spectators to steer clear of the area as response operations continue. South Coast road is closed at this vicinity. We would like to thank our brave firefighters and Emergency personnel for their bravery and commitment in keeping our city safe.