Diesel-contaminated SABC building sealed off

SABC employees were evacuated after a diesel spillage on Wednesday
SABC employees were evacuated after a diesel spillage on Wednesday
Image: Alaister Russell

Radio Park building at the SABC in Auckland Park has been completely evacuated after a diesel spillage that caused problems this morning.

This is according Johannesburg Emergency Management Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi. He told Sowetan that a call was received about a diesel spillage from 15th floor.

“On arrival we found that the floor was indeed flooded with diesel which was coming from a standby generator. The whole 15th floor was flooded with diesel all the way coming down to the eighth floor. From the eighth floor coming down there was much spillage,” Mulaudzi said.

“We decided to evacuate everyone so that we could start with cleaning up operations. There was no one who was trapped or injured. Everybody was evacuated unharmed. Right now our focus is the cleaning up operation.”

Mulaudzi said the evacuation started at 8.30 and ended about 10am. However, Netcare earlier said three people were treated for chemical inhalation.

“Three patients suffered the effects of chemical inhalation and were treated on the scene before being transported by ambulance to hospital for further assessment. The fire and rescue services are on the scene and are currently dealing with the incident,” said Netcare spokesperson Shawn Herbst.

Radio Park building has 29 floors. Mulaudzi said companies called to handle the spillage were already on site.

“They will be starting with the cleaning operation [today] but from our side we will have to remain [at the site] to monitor the process. Diesel poses a risk of fire, therefore, we will remain on standby.”

When Sowetan arrived at Radio Park, the building was already secured with guards not allowing people to go inside. It is not clear how this has affected production as the building houses most of the public broadcaster’s radio stations including its flagship commercial stations Metro FM and 5FM.

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