"Two weeks ago 52-year-old Magdalene Hess was rushed to the Hottentots Holland government hospital in Somerset West after suffering from a severe asthma attack."I couldn't breathe. I have regular attacks, but this was the worst. I could feel death coming for me," she said as she lay recovering in the crowded ward.
Hess's family members said that the attack was so severe that she turned blue and passed out. She spent three days in the Intensive Care Unit.
But Hess never suffered from asthma until over 16 000 tons of sulphur stockpiled at the AECI chemical and explosives factory in Somerset West ignited on December 16, 1995."