A fire has destroyed a part of the National Horseracing Authority’s world-renowned testing laboratory at the NHA’s Head Office, Turffontein.
The fire broke out on Sunday night and at least two screening instruments are said to have been affected. The fire was extinguished before it spread to adjacent offices, but the damage to the laboratory itself could be extensive.
Arnold Hyde, Racing Control Executive of the NHA, commented this morning: “It is difficult to ascertain at this point what the full extent of the damage is. The laboratory is full of highly sensitive equipment which one assumes can be easily compromised. The Fire Brigade has launched a full investigation and more details will become available.”
Hyde said it was believed that the fire was caused by an electrical fault and that no criminal activity was suspected. “It would be out of order for me to make an assessment of my own until the information is at hand. I can say that provision has been made for testing procedures to continue. Also, no existing samples have been compromised. We’ll be looking at temporary storage facilities.”
The NHA’s Laboratory is regarded as one of the best of its kind in the world.
Headline photo per illustration only.
Photos below are actual, and taken on the scene: