South Africa — It took 40 firefighters five hours to put out a fire – with flames up to 10m high – when one of the pipelines belonging to Egoli Gas was destroyed.
Johannesburg Emergency Management Services spokesman Percy Morokane said on Wednesday morning that the fire began at 10.30pm on Tuesday night in City Deep.
“This was quite an inferno… thankfully it did not spread. Our firefighters did an exceptional job,” he said.
Thirty-five of the fire fighters were from five stations in Joburg and the five others from Hazard Materials.
He said the pressure in the pipeline kept the blaze going and the flames high for a lengthy period – until the firefighters and Egoli Gas employees brought it under control.
According to Egoli Gas marketing manager, Henry Viljoen, there was a veld fire in the vicinity earlier in the day and the blaze destroyed the seals of a pipe running above the ground.
“That caused the gas to leak and the extent of the heat ignited the gas,” he said, adding that service had been restored with a temporary pipeline and seal, and that the permanent line should be in place this afternoon.
No one was injured.
Morokane said there are no building nearby.
“So our main concern was the filling station. The wind, however, was very helpful because it was blowing in the south westerly direction. If it had been blowing in the north westerly direction, we would be saying something else now,” Morokane said
There were some rumours that some of the Egoli workers who are on strike could have caused the fire but Viljoen said he did not want to speculate. He said he did not believe their workers would do something like that.
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