The Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka has commended the disaster management teams that responded swiftly to the Transnet pipeline fire that took place yesterday in Clairwood Durban. 

Yesterday, at 04h20 AM Disaster Management teams were dispatched to respond to a reported fire at Horseshoe Road, Clairwood. Upon arrival and further investigation, the teams were able to identify the source of the fire as a pipeline.

Quick action by the fire and rescue teams working together with Transnet brought the fire under control. 

Further assessments by the rescue personnel found three bodies of 

people that are believed to have died as a result of the fire. 

Preliminary assessments indicate that the fire could have started as a result of an attempt to perforate the pipeline and siphon product into an awaiting tanker. It is believed perpetrators carried out excavation and exposed the pipe which they then punctured at three points. 

At this moment in time is not clear whether the three fatalities are linked to the attempt to steal fuel from the pipeline. 

As a result of the fire, 270 people from 130 households residing at the informal settlement which had encroached on the pipeline have been temporarily displaced, disaster management teams are working together with social partners to provide interim relief to the affected. 

The MEC for Cogta Mr S.E Hlomuka has called upon residents to not encroach on hazardous installations as this poses a huge risk to their own safety. Our communities must follow the safety laws that have been put in place to protect hazardous installations such as rail roads, gas, fuel and water pipelines. 

MEC Hlomuka has also called upon law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned in their quest to apprehend syndicates that penetrate dangerous installations intending to steal products. 

Issued by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs