Johannesburg - The investigation into the accident at Eskom's Ingula pumped storage scheme, in which six people died and seven were injured, needs to be speedy and thorough, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said on Friday.
Department officials, led by director-general Thibedi Ramontja and mines chief inspector David Msiza, were on site and had begun the investigation to find the cause of the accident and propose remedial action, she said in a statement.
“We are deeply concerned about what happened, and we must get to the bottom of this matter as quickly as possible. A loss of just one life is one loss too many. We cannot compromise on the safety of workers.”
Four men were still in hospital, Eskom said on Friday.
General manager Gerrie Bronkhorst told reporters in Johannesburg that all four were in the intensive care unit.
Shabangu was concerned that there had already been another death at Ingula this year, underlining the need for the investigation to be given urgent attention.
“Although it is still too early to determine when the investigation will be concluded, the department will expedite and prioritise the process,” the minister said.
She sent her condolences to the families of those killed and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
The men were doing welding and grouting on a platform in one of four tunnels, located near Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal, when the platform came loose and rolled down the tunnel.
Eskom said all 3387 workers on site were evacuated and the site would be shut until it was declared safe. - Sapa