Four bodies have been recovered after an explosion at the Grain Marketing Depot (GMB) Lions Den Depot this afternoon.
The explosion resulted in fire in the control tower plant, which collapsed on impact.
The plant and one of the silos caught fire following the incident, which also severely damaged the foundation of the silo.
Several concrete blocks forming the foundation of the silo’s escape route were ripped up and strewn metres way off the storage facility.
Three people were rescued, including one who was affected by carbon monoxide as he tried to render rescue services.
He was however resuscitated by medical personnel.
Misheck Nyarubero who stays a few hundreds of metres from the depot said he saw one body as he entered the damaged plant in search of victims, but believes around four people could have been trapped inside the silo whose valves opened up, and in the process released grain to the tunnel which is part of the escape routes.
According to a roll call by the GMB officials, four workers were uncounted for before the recovery of one body.
The outgoing Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Retired Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri flew to the scene and said investigations are to be carried out by forensic experts to ascertain the real cause of the explosion, while engineering experts will have to assess the extent of the damage to the plant and the silo in question.
The Lions Den GMB depot is the country’s largest grain storage facility and is a strategic institution.
When the ZBC News arrived at the depot, rescue operations were underway.
More details to follow…