Expert: Explosion at Medupi shows a complete failure of oversight

The blast occurred on Sunday night after which at least seven employees had to be treated for shock.

FILE: Medupi power station in Limpopo. Picture: Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Energy analyst Chris Yelland on Tuesday said the explosion at Eskom's Medupi Power Plant showed a complete failure of oversight.

The blast occurred on Sunday night after which at least seven employees had to be treated for shock.

Staffers were purging hydrogen out of the Unit 4 generator by replacing it with carbon dioxide, a process which should be followed by then purging the inert gas out of the mechanism by pumping in air.

Yelland said the process was not followed accordingly, resulting in the major blast.

“The preliminary investigation has shown that people didn’t follow the right procedures and it could be lack of training, it could be negligence, it could incompetence. Nevertheless, there was a complete failure, it would seem, of oversight.”

Several employees have been suspended while authorities probe the incident.

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