Six workers killed as Eskom tunnel collapses

Six people died when a tunnel collapsed at an Eskom construction site near Ladysmith, South Africa, on Thursday, the utility has announced.

In a statement the parastatal said, "Eskom is saddened to announce that six people have been confirmed dead after an unfortunate incident that occurred this morning at Eskom's Ingula pumped storage construction site near Ladysmith.

"The incident happened around 9:15am in the Incline High Pressure Shaft, which connects the Top Dam to the Power House. 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."

According to Eskom's website, the scheme consists of an upper and a lower dam; both of approximately 22 million cubic metres water capacity. The dams, 4.6km apart, are connected by underground waterways, through an underground powerhouse which house, 4 x 333MW pump turbines. During times of peak energy consumption, water will be released from the upper dam through the pump turbines to the lower dam to generate electricity.

Image: © Eskom

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