Medupi blast seems like an industrial accident - UCT academic

The utility said that there was a deviation from procedure at one of its units which led to the explosion on Sunday night.

Eskom's Medupi power station. Picture: Eskom.co.za

CAPE TOWN - A University of Cape Town (UCT) academic said a blast at Eskom's Medupi power plant seemed like it was an industrial accident.

The utility said that there was a deviation from procedure at one of its units which led to the explosion on Sunday night.

The unit has been extensively damaged.

Several employees have since been suspended, while authorities continue to probe the incident.

Senior researcher at UCT’s energy research centre, Hilton Trollip said: “The big machines aren’t washing machines and even if you don’t follow the manual of a washing machine, it will cause havoc. Even with big machines, it will cause havoc. It is worrying that they didn’t follow procedures.”

After 14 years, the construction of plant was finally completed last week.

Trollip said that there was undue pressure because of bigger systemic issues: “Medupi was conceived in sin and it has design flaws, which haven’t been completed and so, it’s a general pressure cooker environment.”

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