Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Telkom explodes in Yeoville.

A Telkom Exchange building exploded in Yeoville this morning. Quite spectacularly.
Just after 8am apparently one of their technicians was tinkering about with a giant electricity transformer when it just blew up.
It rocked the suburb something chronic, shattering windows, damaging cars and cracking the pavements up to a block away. A guy driving past suddenly had his front and back windscreens shattered, the bumper ripped off and one side of his old white Corolla completely covered in mud. He got such a fright that he drove on for a little bit and then abandoned it, keys still in the ignition, in the middle of an intersection. Fortunately it was still there when he recovered enough to realise that he had not been shot or hit by a dump truck and went to fetch it.
Paramedics rushed the poor Telkom technician off to hospital along with another woman who wasn't badly injured but needed to be treated for shock.
So there we stood, a glum collection of journalists, photographers and cameramen all gathered in the drizzly weather waiting to get near to someone, anyone, who had information. And, as often happens, a bunch of stroppy men had taken control of the scene and cordoned off the area so that we were kept far, far away from the action.
I felt sorry for myself as my hair frizzed, until I saw a bald cop walk past and noticed little rivers of water running off his head and down his neck.
Little kids at a playschool nearby were evacuated for "safety reasons", which I later worked out to be some concern that there might be another explosion.
We waited while rescue workers dug through the rubble to check that there were no more victims. It took a few hours.
And then I spotted the cast iron cover from a manhole that was ripped open by the explosion. It had been flung clean over the church hall across the road and landed on the pavement a block away.
Sheesh - so much damage and so little injury and no loss of life. Quite a miracle.

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