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[UPDATE] Death toll in Macassar Denel plant explosion rises to 8

All missing workers have been accounted for. The cause of the blaze is undetermined.

Picture: Freeimages.com.

CAPE TOWN – The number of fatalities following an explosion at Rheinmetall Denel Munitions in Macassar outside Somerset West has risen to eight.

It’s believed the explosion at the arms manufacturer occurred just before four o’clock this afternoon.

All missing workers have been accounted for.

Fifteen firefighters and three fire trucks are on scene.

The cause of the blaze is undetermined.

Earlier the city's Theo Layne said: “When we arrived there it was ascertained that an explosion had occurred and staff at the factory was in the process of extinguishing the subsequent fire. Our firefighters are currently carrying out search and rescue operations for a further six persons that are unaccounted for.”

An eyewitness explained what he saw: “Five kilometres away from there I noticed a huge fireball towards Somchem just like a shockwave which was a huge bang ...”

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)