Mpumalanga man killed after fire extinguisher explodes

Photo taken at the scene after the extinguisher exploded in a workshop. Pic: Lowvelder

Photo taken at the scene after the extinguisher exploded in a workshop. Pic: Lowvelder

An inquest docket has been opened after an employee of Fire Control Security Services (FCSS) was killed when a fire extinguisher he had been apparently trying to refill exploded in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.

Jacques Ainslie of Hi-Tech Medical Services said the man suffered severe abdominal trauma caused by the impact. Due to the blasting radius, the extinguisher hit the man in the stomach, Lowvelder reported.

“The trauma to his abdomen was so severe that he would never have survived the impact. Shrapnel from the extinguisher also caused trauma to other parts of his body. The man was already dead when the medical team arrived,” added Ainslie.

The extinguisher was supplied to FCSS by Safequip, a supplier of assorted firefighting equipment. Safequip manager Frikkie Stroh said the matter was being investigated by police and the department of labour.

FCSS spokesperson Philip Marais said they could not comment any further on the matter due to its sensitivity and pending investigations.

“All I can say is that this is a very tragic incident. All our employees are like family, so this was like losing a family member,” added Marais.

Mbombela police spokesperson Captain Dawie Pretorius said investigations were under way to determine the circumstances that caused the man’s death. At this stage the deceased’s identity would not be disclosed.

In a separate incident, a mentally challenged patient wreaked havoc at Addington Hospital in Durban when he allegedly killed another patient with a fire extinguisher.

Patients and staff at the hospital were left in shock after Bonginkosi Albert Shongwe, 26, allegedly bashed the patient on his head, killing him instantly in February.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane at the time said: “It is alleged that the suspect, who is mentally challenged, grabbed the fire extinguisher and fatally assaulted the patient to the head. The motive for the killing is unknown at this stage”.

– Caxton News Service


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