Eskom employees suspended over Medupi explosion

Eskom employees suspended over Medupi explosion

Eskom has issued provisional suspension notices to some employees involved in the explosion at the Medupi power station in Limpopo.

A photo taken on October 7, 2011 shows the 125-billion-rand ($14.8 billion, 11 billion euro) Medupi station outside the northern South African town of Lephalale. The plant will be the fourth-largest in the world and is expected to go online in two years.

There was an explosion at unit 4 generator on Sunday night.

Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha says the explosion has resulted in extensive


“The incident occurred during the activity to displace hydrogen with carbon dioxide and air respectively, for the purposes of finding an external leak. Fortunately no injuries were sustained by personnel who were on site during the unfortunate incidents. 

“Following the power station preliminary investigation, it appears that while performing this activity air was introduced into the generator at a point where hydrogen was still present in the generator at sufficient quantities to create an explosive mixture, which ignited and resulted in the explosion.”

Preliminary investigations revealed there was a deviation from procedure.

“As such Eskom has undertaken to place those employees who were responsible to manage and execute this work under precautionary suspension,” says Mantshantsha.

“Investigations are underway into the cause of the incident and Eskom will update the public on developments, as well as to what extent this unfortunate incident will impact the national electricity grid.”

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