Three ArcelorMittal workers found dead after explosion

A police forensic pathology vehicle enters ArcelorMittal’s plant in Vanderbijlpark after an accident.
A police forensic pathology vehicle enters ArcelorMittal’s plant in Vanderbijlpark after an accident.
Image: VELI NHLAPO

The three workers who were trapped in the rubble after an explosion at ArcelorMittal in Vanderbijlpark in the Vaal have been found dead.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA said the news of the three workers passing have left their families devastated.

“They have been waiting and anxiously hoping that their loved ones would be found alive. Unfortunately that was not to be. We send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of those who have passed away.

“As Numsa we are calling on the department of employment and labour to embark on a detailed and thorough investigation into the cause of this incident. We have a long painful history with ArcelorMittal and its brutal management which has demonstrated time and time again that Black Lives do not matter,” said Numsa’s Sedibeng’s regional secretary Kabelo Ramokhathali.

On Wednesday about 2am, a portion of a 90m stack at one of the company’s coke batteries failed and fell onto the control room in which the three people were working. Workers were then trapped under the rubble .  Yesterday, workers toiled the day removing the rubble in order to save their colleagues.

Numsa thanked the workers for their efforts.

 “We are convinced that had it not been for the intense efforts of workers themselves, who risked their own lives and took the initiative searching through the massive pile of rubble to locate workers who were trapped under the building, we would not have been able to recover these bodies,” Ramokhathali said.

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