An employee of the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) on Sunday lost an arm in a freak accident at the Port of Walvis Bay.
Mudele Kabinda, 24, had his right arm ripped off by a mixer while he was on duty for CHEC at the port. He is currently recuperating at the Welwitschia Hospital at the coast.
CHEC is currently constructing the N$3.9 billion port expansion project on behalf of the port authority, Namport. The project is scheduled for completion in 2017.
According to the police crime-coordinator for the Erongo Region, Deputy Commissioner Ottilie Kashupuulwa, a breakage was detected on Sunday at a concrete mixer by some employees.
“It is alleged that the employees were informed by the person in control that the machine is off, due to the breakage. Kabinda allegedly went to remove an object from the machine. However, his arm got stuck in the machine.
It is believed that the machine was not switched off, as they were told, resulting in Kabinda’s right arm being trapped and ripped off in the process. He had to be rushed to the hospital for treatment.
According to Kashupuulwa, the arm was severely damaged and doctors also indicated that it would be impossible to save his arm. The severed arm was later removed from the mixer and handed to his family.
A co-worker, who witnessed the incident, told New Era that everything happened very fast. “His arm was ripped off in an instant. I’ve never witnessed something like that in my life. It scared me,” the CHEC employee said.
A statement released by the company yesterday states that Kabinda lost his arm while he was busy on a routine maintenance assignment when his arm got stuck in a conveyor belt.
According to Usi //Hoebeb, who deals with public relations on behalf of CHEC, an internal investigation is underway to ascertain the caused of the horrific accident.
“A team, consisting of the Ministry of Labour and the affiliated trade union, started today with the investigation. We want to ensure that the relevant actions and precautions are taken to ensure that this does not happen again,” he said.