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Tragedy at Walvis Bay water works

Tragedy at Walvis Bay water works

Niël Terblanché

TWO men died at the municipal water works of the Walvis Bay after they were overcome by poisonous gas while working in a pump well at the reticulation plant.


A third worker was rushed to hospital after also inhaling some of the poisonous gas.


Dennis Basson, the chief of the Walvis Bay Emergency Services, said on the scene where members of the Namibian Police were busy loading the remains of the two men in the mortuary vehicle that the tragic incident occurred shortly before 13:00.


“At this stage it is not entirely clear what transpired. We were told that a workplace incident occurred at the water works and was informed that the men might have drowned,’ Basson said.


Walvis Bay water works poisonous gas
Pictured: Members of the Namibian Police and the Walvis Bay Emergency Services busy loading the remains of two men who died at the municipal water works earlier on Thursday. – Photo: Niël Terblanché


He said after arriving on the scene they found that the men might have been overcome by methane gas that was trapped in the pump well.


“In this instance we cannot say for sure what caused the death of the victims. A post mortem examination will definitely have to be performed to determine the actual cause of their deaths.”


According to Basson the third man was rushed to one of the hospitals in Walvis Bay for emergency treatment. He said the man also inhaled some of the poisonous gas inhalation and that he is also being treated for shock. He indicated that the third man will be able to shed more light on what led to the deaths of his colleagues.


The chief of the emergency services said one of the deceased persons was an employee of the Walvis Bay Municipality while the second victim was a private contractor who regularly worked at the water reticulation plant.
Basson said the names of the deceased persons will made public at a later stage.