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4 Dec, 2020 09:35

‘Massive' FIREBALL fills skies over S. Africa’s Durban following explosion at oil refinery, seven injured (VIDEOS)

At least seven people were injured in a massive explosion at a crude oil refinery in Durban South Africa, though there have been no reports of fatalities despite the scale of the blast.

Emergency services swarmed the scene, with large contingents of police, fire, and ambulance personnel on scene establishing a security cordon and urging the public to stay away.

The explosion took place shortly after 7am local time, following a large fire on Friday morning.

“I saw a massive fireball at the centre of the refinery, with thick black smoke billowing from it. A few minutes later, many vehicles passed by my home,” Durban resident Shane Lloyd Pretorius said. 

The injured are said to be in a stable condition and the blaze has been brought under control, according to a spokesperson for the provincial emergency medical services.

Eyewitness footage from the scene purports to show the immediate aftermath of the explosion, with residents reporting that houses and buildings in the area shook and vibrated, such was the ferocity of the blast.

An investigation into the circumstances and cause of the explosion has been launched. The facility, which boasts a crude oil refining capacity of 120,000 barrels per day, is operated by African energy company Engen, which is partly owned by Malaysia's Petronas. 

It is one of just six refineries in South Africa and is the second to suffer an explosion this year, following an incident at a facility operated by Astron Energy in Cape Town in July, which killed two people and injured a further seven.

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