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Durban - Three people were killed and several others were seriously injured when a tunnel collapsed at Eskom's Ingula pumped storage scheme near Ladysmith on Thursday, police said.
Lieutenant Jack Haskins, of the police search and rescue unit, said he understood three people had been killed and that five or six people were seriously injured. A further eight or nine people could not be accounted for.
Eskom spokesman Andrew Etzinger said there “was an incident”, and he was awaiting further details before he could comment.
The scheme, which is under construction, was expected to go live next year and involved pumping water up the Drakensberg Mountains from the Braamhoek Dam to the Bedford Dam during off-peak hours, an elevation of about 470m. Water would then be released through the tunnels to flow down during peak hours, generating electricity.
It could not be confirmed if Eskom employees or contractors were in the tunnels.
The cause of the collapse was not yet known. - Sapa