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UPDATE: Six killed by toxic fumes at Durban military facility

At least 26 other people have been taken to hospital after inhaling the dangerous fumes.

FILE: ER24 paramedics attend to a patient. Picture: Supplied

DURBAN - The SA National Defence Force has now confirmed that six people who died at a military facility at the Durban harbour were in fact killed by toxic gasses from a sewer pit.

Intial reports from emergency services suggested the men had fallen into the pit.

But the SANDF says three of its members had gone down into the pit to rescue Public Works Department staff who'd run into trouble.

At least 26 other people have been taken to hospital after inhaling the dangerous fumes.

ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak said: “Rescue teams have already retrieved the bodies of six men who fell in a sewer pit. The men were found with no signs of life. Several other patients were also found at the scene with minor injuries. They were treated on the scene for the injuries and later transported to various hospitals for further medical management.”

SANDF spokesperson Mafi Mgobozi: "Three workers were working in the sewer pit and there was a gas leak and then one of the workers screamed and our members rushed to the pit to help those people but our members were overcome by the gas fumes."

The SANDF is now trying to determine where the dangerous gas came from and how the six victims died.

The defence force probe will run alongside a police investigation into the incident.

(Edited by Refilwe Thobega)

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