Families' pain after eight Denel explosion victims are identified
The eight people who died in the explosion at Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) in Macassar, near Somerset West, were identified on Wednesday.
The DNA of family members had to be used to identify the remains of the deceased, Netwerk24 reported. The victims were Jamie Haydricks, 24; Bradley Tandy, 18; Steve Isaacs; Triston Davids; Nico Samuels, 41; Jason Hartzenberg, 21; Mxolisi Sigadla, 40; and Thando Mankayi, 25.
The munitions company on Wednesday pledged to provide "continuous support" to families, employees and community members affected by Monday afternoon's explosion.
"There is nothing more important right now than providing utmost support and care for the families involved in this heartbreaking incident,” said Norbert Schulze, chief executive of RDM.
The company said it will hold another meeting with the family members on Thursday to provide another detailed update on the incident.
The 18-year-old Tandy's father Mario told Netwerk24 his son had been working for the company for just over two months. Mario said of the second youngest of six children: "He was a wonderful child, very relaxed. He didn't even smoke."
The 40-year-old Sigadla's sister, Mfusi, said although her brother had told her his job was very dangerous, his death was nevertheless very painful to digest. "I don't know what I am going to. He was the breadwinner," she said.
Gwen Haydricks, the mother of the 24-year-old Jamie, said she saw on Facebook that there had been a blast at the munitions company and desperately tried to get hold of her child.
"Jamie was so excited about his job. We spoke on Sunday and he said he was looking forward to going to work."
Meanwhile, emergency agencies and government authorities are working with RDM to establish what caused the explosion, the company said.
It said the product involved in the explosion was an ignition propellent consisting of more than 95% nitrocellulose, more commonly referred to as gun cotton, used as an ignition material for ammunition charge systems.