Johannesburg – About 300 SABC staff were evacuated from the broadcaster’s Radio Park building while others were stuck on the 17th floor following a chemical leak on Wednesday morning.
Shawn Herbst of Netcare 911 said by the time paramedics arrived about 300 workers were already evacuated from the building.
“Reports from the scene indicate that a generator on the 15th floor leaked a large volume of diesel fuel,” Herbst said.
“Emergency services had evacuated the building, however it is alleged that a small number of occupants were stuck on the 17th floor and were unable to leave due to the intoxicating fumes,” he added.
According to Herbst, three patients were treated on scene before being transported by ambulance to the hospital for further medical assessment after they suffered the effects of chemical inhalation.
SABC spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu said there was a power outage which resulted in the SABC’s internal systems switching from City Power to the backup generator.
Mthembu added that the leakage was due to the aging and failure of the equipment which caused the diesel tank to overflow.
Speaking to eNCA, City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi also said the cause of the leakage may be the aging generators.
“We have managed to evacuate all workers from the building and no injuries were reported during the evacuation process,” Mulaudzi said.
Mulaudzi added that a spillage company has been called to clean the building and the EMS will be standby until the cleaning process is done.