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23 September 2003
25-year-old method of reducing mining fatalities caused by rock-falls and seismic events - Technicrete's composite support packs - has been put to use in the police battle against terrorism.
When a bomb exploded in the SA Police Service hangar at Grand Central Airport in Gauteng late last year, damage was so severe that police inspectors and forensic experts could not work for fear of falling masonry. Steel jacks installed to support sagging concrete ceilings buckled under the weight.
With the forensic investigation in jeopardy as the building threatened to collapse, the police called in mining company Goldfields Limited for expert advice. Goldfields referred the problem to its Kloof mine, which hurried a team of mining personal - equipped with Technicrete composite packs - to support the collapsing building. After a Concor team inspected and verified the work, the forensic investigation went ahead.
Composites are concrete blocks stapled to saligna mining timber in such a way that each unit can be built into a composite pack which will totally interlock. In a mining setting, a support pack is built in a prescribed manner in stopes and gullies to control the earth's natural tendency to close up areas, which have been mined out.
A Concor Techncrete spokesman commented: "This was an unusual application for the composite pack, but it again showed its great safety value - as it has done many times over the past 25 years."