Contractor killed in Shoprite transformer explosion

Cape Town fire and rescue services try to contain the fire at a Shoprite warehouse in Cape Town on May 15, 2018.

Cape Town fire and rescue services try to contain the fire at a Shoprite warehouse in Cape Town on May 15, 2018. 
Image: Resq Medix

An electrical contractor was killed and two colleagues seriously burnt when a transformer exploded and caught fire during an inspection at a Shoprite distribution warehouse in Cape Town on Tuesday.

The Shoprite Group said the explosion happened at its Cilmor Distribution Centre in Brackenfell.

“An electrical contractor tragically lost his life this morning in an explosion while inspecting an electrical transformer…  Two other contractors suffered serious burn injuries and were rushed to hospital. A further four people are being treated for smoke inhalation‚” the group said in response to media enquiries.

“The fire that broke out as a result of the explosion was extinguished within an hour and was contained in a small area of the Returns Centre. A full investigation is under way to determine the cause of the explosion and extent of the damage. At this stage it seems that operations will not be affected for a prolonged period of time.”

The Shoprite Group expressed its sincere condolences to the families and colleagues of the deceased and injured. Trauma counselling was being provided to those who witnessed the accident‚ it said.

Cape Town Fire and Rescue spokesman Theo Layne said earlier: “The City’s Fire and Rescue Service responded to Cilmor Street in Brackenfell (to) a Shoprite warehouse where we had a transformer room that was alight.

“As a result of the fire one adult male had sustained fatal burn wounds and one adult male sustained serious injuries and was transported by ambulance to hospital.”

Private ambulance service Resq Medix said in a Facebook post that patients were treated for smoke inhalation.

“Cape Town fire and rescue services managed to contain the fire within seconds while medical staff and attended to the injured‚ thank you ER24‚ Cape Town Fire and Rescue‚ SJC security‚ Titanium security and Metro Rescue for their assistance on scene.”