Cape Town gas blast victims identified

The men who died in a gas explosion near Durbanville have been identified, a Cape Town city official said on Thursday.

Technician Martin O'Connor died in the Global Gases SA factory blast on Wednesday, spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said.

Global Gases technical supervisor Saji Thekkemalayil Chandrasekharaan lost a leg in the blast and died in hospital overnight.

Chandrasekharaan had been in the country on a valid work permit.

Two others were recovering in intensive care. Contractor Brandon Pretorius had both legs amputated and was in a critical but stable condition. Jean Rossouw was serious but stable.

The city's fire and rescue services spokesman Theo Layne said four others sustained minor injuries.

Solomons-Johannes said a private service provider, Comp Air, had been contracted to repair a compressor at the factory situated in the Atlas Gardens industrial park.

Around 4pm, a compressor and gas cylinders exploded, ripping out the windows and sections of the corrugated iron roof. The building was declared structurally unsound.

The cause of the blast was being investigated.

India's High Commissioner had been informed of the blast and would notify Chandrasekharaan's family of his death.