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Durban harbour freak accident claims six lives

Six people - including three South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members - have been killed after inhaling gas at a naval base at the Durban harbour.

Durban harbour - ECR Newswatch file photo

SANDF spokesperson, Mafi Mgobozi says three contract workers from the Department of Public Works had been working in a sewer pit within the base when they alerted members to a gas leak.  

Three SANDF members tried to help the contractors who were trapped in the pit.  

Initial reports suggest the victims had inhaled methane gas.

Emergency services say about 20 other people were injured in the Bayhead area of the port, near the Bluff. 

Rescue Care's Garrith Jamieson says there was a leakage in a sewer pit. 

Jamieson says paramedics are treating the last of the patients and they are being taken through to hospital. 

"There were multiple patients with inhalation injuries. It seems it was definitely a leakage of some sort, whether it is some chemical in the sewer pit," says Jamieson.

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