Man dies from injuries two weeks after explosion at treatment plant

Man dies from injuries two weeks after explosion at treatment plant
Umicore in Hoboken, Antwerpen where the lethal accident took place. Credit: Jasper Jacobs

A man has died after suffering life-threatening injuries when a tanker truck exploded two weeks ago at a treatment plant near Antwerp. He leaves behind a wife and a six-year-old daughter.

The 28-year-old independent subcontractor, Axel Cap, became seriously injured at the Umicore plant in Hoboken on Saturday 11 March while undertaking cleaning works. The accident occurred while he was cleaning a silo of a water purification plant with quicklime, after which set off an explosion.

Two colleagues were also injured, but Cap suffered severe burns, for which he was treated at the ZNA Stuivenberg centre. On Thursday afternoon, he died as a result of his injuries, the company announced on Friday.

"All Umicore colleagues are deeply affected by this loss. Our thoughts are with the family, friends, and colleagues. We wish them much strength and our sincere condolences," the company wrote. "We are making every effort to provide the families, as well as our own colleagues, with appropriate support during this difficult time."

There are indications that the tanker, belonging to the Kempen cleaning company Groep Peeters, was not completely empty, which saw the pressure in the tanker truck rising so fast that it eventually exploded.

"Together with the subcontractor, we are continuing unabated the investigation into the cause of the accident so that we can understand exactly what happened and do everything possible to avoid it in the future" Umicore noted.

The Antwerp Labour Audit Office is also conducting an investigation into the circumstances of the accident.

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