South Africa: Munitions Depot Blast Kills Several in South Africa

The scene outside the Rheinmetall Denel Munition plant near Somerset West.
3 September 2018

An explosion at a munitions depot jointly owned by German and South African companies has left several dead. Firefighters are working to extinguish the blaze.

At least eight people were killed during an explosion at a munitions plant near Cape Town in South Africa on Monday, authorities said.

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the blast at the Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) depot at around 1300GMT.

RDM said in a statement that an explosion occurred at one of its buildings, but it could not confirm whether there were any injuries or fatalities.

However, Cape Town fire official Theo Layne said eight people died, as reported by the African News Agency.

"I can confirm that eight people are dead," said Layne, adding that the cause of the blast was not known.

The agency, which is based in South Africa, said a number of people were missing and firefighters were at the scene working to extinguish the blaze.

Rheinmetall Denel Munition is a munitions manufacturer jointly owned by Germany's Rheinmetall Waffe Munition, a subsidiary of the larger Rheinmetall weapons manufacturer, and South Africa's state-owned arms maker Denel.

RDM, which has its headquarters in Munich, manufactures and supplies selected munitions and explosive-related products for armed and police forces in South Africa, as well as countries in Asia, the Middle East, South America.

(AP, Reuters)

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