A massive explosion has taken place at the Engen Oil Refinery in Tara Road, south of Durban on Friday morning.
Residents from as far as Manor Gardens, Glenwood and Pinetown reported that they were woken up by a loud bang just after 7am.
A resident who declined to be named said she was getting her children ready for school when she heard the bang and ran to check the window.
“I first thought it was a tremor, when I heard the windows rattle but saw smoke bellowing in the sky,” she said.
According to Garrith Jamieson, an Advanced Life Support Paramedic, the area around the refinery precinct has been closed off to traffic while emergency teams attend to the fire.
He said from information received it appears that some sort of tanker had exploded.
“The explosion has been felt in many parts of Durban as far as Clare Estate.”
At this stage, it is unclear if there were any injuries or fatalities.
This is a developing story and updates will follow.
In 2005, an explosion rocked houses in Merebank when a fire broke out in a solvents tank at the Engen oil refinery in Durban.
Dr Ram Rambeharie, who lives near the refinery, said the explosion had shaken his house. “The sirens sounded twice, which meant there was something serious. If they had sounded one more time, it would have meant an evacuation,” he said.