Refinery explosion in Cape Town claims at least two lives

A huge explosion at a refinery in Cape Town, South Africa claimed at least two lives and injured several others on Thursday, authorities confirmed.

A man and a woman were killed, and seven others were injured in the accident that took place early Thursday morning, police said.

According to local anti-crime service Report from Spot on Crime and Emergency, six people were killed. However, this news cannot be independently verified.

Astron Energy South Africa, which runs the refinery, confirmed in a statement that an incident occurred at its Milnerton Refinery at approximately 04:00 on July 2.

Astron Energy immediately activated its emergency response procedures and notified the relevant authorities, the statement said.

The resultant fire has been contained and all work on the plant is now stable, the company said.

“Our priority is to ensure the safety of all those onsite and further information will be provided as soon as we have confirmed the details,” said the company.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, police said.

Fire and rescue services responded immediately and were on the scene within minutes, having brought the situation under control, said Anton Bredell, Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.

The incident is reported to have been on the production side, not storage side, Bredell said.

“At this stage, information is still coming in but there are no current concerns about pollution or increased risk for the community to be concerned about following this incident,” he said in a statement.