The South African National Defence Force's Brigadier-General Mafi Mgobozi said the three SANDF members who died were trying to rescue three contract workers screaming for help at the bottom of a sewage pit after a gas leak.
He said workers from the Department of Public Works were working in the sewage pit at the base. He said the soldiers who heard the cries went into the pit to help but they were overcome by the fumes.
Pan Africanist Congress spokesman Kenneth Mokgatlhe said the party learnt with great shock and sadness the deaths of 6 people in an unfortunate accident at the naval base, Durban.
Durban Harbour. 2 contractor staff & 4 Navy Divers were inside a sewer pit and were overcome by toxic gasses. They are deceased.— Mark Basson (@rescuemedic29) February 17, 2017