A 24-YEAR-OLD Nkulumane 12 man was killed yesterday after a boiler machine he was operating at his workplace exploded. Acting Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Abednico Ncube said the accident was being investigated to determine what caused the death.
The man was identified as Claudius Makumbe who was working on a boiler at the Drive Shaft Centre just behind OK Mart in Bulawayo’s industrial area. Makumbe suffered severe injuries as the explosion ripped his stomach open.
He died at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) at around lunch time. UBH chief executive officer Nonhlanhla Ndlovu confirmed the death. “Unfortunately he has died. The injuries were too severe for him to survive,” she said.
“His pelvic parts and most of his private organs were severely damaged.”
When Southern Eye visited Drive Shaft Centre after the explosion, some of Makumbe’s shaken workmates could be seen crying.
Blood was all over the workshop floor, particularly where Makumbe landed after being knocked by the cylinder. Detectives were busy combing through the debris in a bid to piece together what could have caused the explosion. A workmate Brian Ngwenya said Makumbe was operating a boiler machine as he usually did when it suddenly exploded.
“I was seated outside and he went inside where the boiler was. All of a sudden I heard an explosion and at first I thought it was a bomb,” he said.
“I rushed inside and found him lying in a pool of blood.
“The lower parts of his body were severely damaged. His intestines were hanging outside and we called an ambulance and the police who swiftly attended to the scene. This is painful and I feel pity for him and the family.”
The cylinder which smashed Makumbe weighed about 10kg and it damaged the roof of the workshop where he was working.
It reportedly flew about 200m and landed on the roof of the OK Mart building damaging three sheets on impact. Some flesh from Makumbe’s body could be seen hanging from the roof of the Drive Shaft Centre building.
Makumbe’s father, Claud was still struggling to come to terms with his son’s death.
“Losing a son is a very painful thing. They phoned and told me that my son had died,” he said. “At the moment we are still waiting for a police report because they are still conducting their investigations. We haven’t spoken to the company owners.”