TIMELINE: How the Durban fire unfolded


TIMELINE: How the Durban fire unfolded

Lwandile Bhengu and Thembelenkosini Makhuba | 2017-03-28 13:48:46.0

A view from the air, taken on Monday, showing portions of the warehouse razed by fire.

Image by: www.airsev.co.za

A huge fire in Durban – believed to be one of the biggest factory fires ever in the southern hemisphere – made headlines and attracted thousands of social media posts.

On Tuesday morning‚ flames were still alight at the Durban south‚ Transnet-owned building‚ five days after it caught alight.

Friday‚ 9.30am: A fire breaks out at a South Coast Road‚ Durban‚ factory. One person from the company is injured and taken to hospital. Video of the massive flames and plume of thick black smoke begins to emerge.

Friday‚ 12:30pm: Medics warn of possible breathing problems due to the smoke‚ as the fire continues to burn out of control. It would later emerge that drought-imposed water pressure reduction was hampering firefighters’ ability to douse the flames.

Friday‚ 5pm: A statement issued by the eThekwini Municipality says smoke from the fire is moving over the city as a result of strong 40-50km/h south-westerly winds. Fire spread as far as 60km north‚ to Ballito.

Friday‚ 9pm: With the wind still blowing and flames raging‚ the city puts in place evacuation plans for neighbouring properties. However‚ no evacuation takes place.

Saturday‚ 6.30am: Reports from the scene indicate that the fire is still well alight‚ with firefighters battling through the night. The fire is reportedly under control and contained‚ even as it burnt. As many as 400 firefighters‚ working in shifts as long as 15-hours‚ had been on scene since Friday morning.

Saturday‚ 2pm: Drone footage emerges showing the extent of the blaze. The footage‚ commissioned by TMG Digital‚ shows how much of the factory was still alight – but that the flames are smaller than the previous day.

Sunday‚ 3pm: Durban fire chief‚ Enock Mchunu‚ says the fire has been “reduced significantly”. The fire was still burning‚ but nowhere near as badly as it had been.

Monday‚ 3pm: Lockdown on information from the eThekwini municipality‚ which confirms it will not be commenting on the fire until a visit to the site the following day.

Tuesday‚ 10am: KZN environmental affairs MEC Sihle Zikalala visits the fire site. While the fire is still burning‚ it is well under control.

TMG Digital/The Times

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