BEREA — Six workers at brick-making company, Majara Bricks, sustained serious burns when an oven for baking bricks burst out in flames last Monday.
The workers were rushed to Queen ’Mamohato Memorial Hospital.
Three of the workers were admitted to hospital while the rest were released after they were treated as outpatients.
The company’s security manager, Koali Posholi, said the incident happened around 8pm.
Posholi said the company reported the matter to Mabote police.
He said the employees were warming themselves close to the oven during their night shift when the oven suddenly spit out flames.
“It was about 30 minutes after the oven was lit when suddenly a huge flame came out of a small opening that is usually left to keep fuelling the oven,” Posholi said.
“One of the three who had serious injuries was released later last week. Only two are still in hospital where they are being treated. Both sustained serious face injuries.”
Posholi added: “We are still investigating what could have gone wrong. The ovens are ventilated in a way that the air blows the fire inside the oven, not out.
“That is to allow the fire to burn the fuelling material in the oven and heat the raw brick into a finished product.”
A manager at Majara Bricks, Hong Hui, said the company had already put in place measures to avoid such incidents in future.
“We still haven’t found what could have caused the accident but we have put in place strategies to protect the workers in the meantime. We are sorry that our employees were injured and we have taken the burden of paying their medical fees,” Hui said.
He said earlier radio reports had exaggerated the magnitude of the accident when they reported that the victims had died.
“We have taken this accident as a serious matter but it offends us that one radio station reported that the men were dead.
“The truth is they are still alive and some have already been compensated by our insurance company,” he said.