Eight killed in blast at munitions depot in Cape Town

The plant is about 28 miles east of central Cape Town

Image The plant is about 28 miles east of central Cape Town

At least eight people have been killed in an explosion at a munitions factory in South Africa, a spokesman for the fire and rescue services has said.

According to its website, Rheinmetall Denel Munition (Pty) Ltd was established on September 1, 2008 when the Denel divisions Somchem (Somerset West and Wellington sites), Swartklip, Boksburg and Naschem (Boskop site), became part of the Rheinmetall Defence Group.

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Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the blast at the Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) depot at around 1300GMT. "Now 15 firefighters with 3 fire engines are at the incident‚" said Lane earlier in the afternoon.

"Eight persons were confirmed as fatalities and the fire department is assisting the search and rescue operations", J.P. Smith, Cape Town council's safety chief, told AFP after the explosion rocked the Rheinmetall Denel plant in Somerset West.

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Factory staff were busy extinguishing the fire when firefighters arrived.

Rheinmetall holds a 51 percent stake and Denel has a 49 percent shareholding.

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The company became known as Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM).

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