Factory gutted by raging inferno

Siyabonga Africa

Siyabonga Africa

Nine people were taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation after a fire gutted the Vitafoam factory in Industria West, Johannesburg, yesterday.

Percy Morokane, spokesman for the Johannesburg Emergency Management Services, said five people were taken to Garden City Hospital and four to Flora Clinic.

"The nine workers were from an adjacent factory, Nampak," he said.

Ilze Parsons of ER24 West Rand said they had treated another four people for smoke inhalation problems.

Morokane said the Johannesburg Emergency Services helped evacuate more than 200 factory workers from Vitafoam.

"The surrounding factories were also effective in their evacuation procedures," he said.

David Mosia, a factory worker at Vitafoam, said the fire started at 8am in the stock section of the factory.

Firefighters battled the fire, which raged for at least five hours and was fuelled by exploding chemical tanks.

Investigations into the cause of the fire were continuing.