Cape Town - The labour department is probing the cause of a blast at a gas factory in Cape Town, it said on Wednesday.

Labour official Candice van Reenen said the investigation at the Global Gases SA factory was in co-operation with a police forensics team.

Two people died and several were injured in the blast in Contermanskloof Road, near Durbanville, last Wednesday. The factory building was also damaged, and was temporarily shut down.

The company largely produces compressed helium for the diving industry.

The cause of the blast had not yet been established, said Van Reenen.

“Statements are currently being generated from all the employees who were present on the day of the incident,” she said.

She said the labour department was sending two specialists from Pretoria to accompany the inspectors on site. It was not known how long the investigation would take.

“The loss of lives is regrettable, and it is the department's endeavour that every effort within the scope of the department's jurisdiction is made to secure closure for the families of those involved,” said Van Reenen. - Sapa