A massive fire broke out at the Engen refinery in Wentworth, south of Durban following an explosion at around 7am on Friday morning [December 4]. The cause of the explosion is not yet clear. The area around the refinery has been closed to traffic while emergency services attend to the fire.

According to Advanced Life Support paramedic Garrith Jamieson, the explosion could be heard 25km away.

“Emergency services are currently responding to a fire at Engine refinery in Wentworth, south of Durban. An explosion occurred just after 7 ‘o clock this morning. The number of casualties is not known at this stage and emergency services are busy arriving on the scene for assessment. The exact cause of the explosion is not known at this stage,” said KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Services Spokesperson Robert Mckenzie.

Local security companies are also on hand to assist residents who have been affected. Some families of employees at the refinery are also on the scene.

“There’s an unconfirmed amount of staff members injured in this. There’s a whole lot of paramedics and rescue services on scene. PT Tactical unit is also helping to assist cordon off the area, also where concerned residents are hysterical due to members of family working in the refinery,” said Dhevan Govindasami, spokesperson for local security company, PT Tactical.

“Unfortunately, we not getting any reports of how many are injured and how many fatalities in the refinery. There is a whole thick cloud of smog that is in the air.”

This is a developing story.

Picture: screenshot from video

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