Thu, 31 Oct 2013 12:30:00 GMT | By Sapa

Six Killed in Eskom Tunnel Collapse

Six people died when a tunnel collapsed at an Eskom construction site near Ladysmith, on Thursday, the parastatal said.

Tunnel (© SXC\vkramer)

"Eskom is saddened to announce that six people have been confirmed dead after an unfortunate incident that occurred... at Eskom's Ingula pumped storage construction site," it said in a statement.

"About 15 people were working in the tunnel when a working platform failed and left several people injured. A detailed investigation will be launched into the incident."

It said this happened around 9.15 am.

IPSS medical response spokesman Marinus Nabal said six people were injured in the incident and were transported to hospital.

He said the body of one of the deceased was recovered and a search and rescue team were trying to recover the other five bodies.

The scheme, which is under construction, was expected to go live next year and involved pumping water up the Drakensberg Mountains from the Braamhoek Dam to the Bedford Dam during off-peak hours, an elevation of about 470m.

Water would then be released through the tunnels to flow down during peak hours, generating electricity.

According to the @Eskom_SA Twitter account, the collapse took place at the Incline High Pressure Shaft, which connects the top dam to the power house. A working platform failed.

An investigation that involves the Department of Mineral Resources would be launched.

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