IRENE Shai could be heard singing a hymn as she helped clean up the illegal dumpsite in her kasi.
But in a flash, the site turned into a scene of bloody horror when an explosion hurled the 39-year-old against a wall.
Her shoes were torn off her feet and her clothes were shredded.
Irene’s legs got the worst of it and had to be amputated. She died on Friday at Tembisa Hospital.
Residents of Phomolong in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni had to help search for her clothes, which were scattered all over the scene.
One of her boots was found two streets away from where the blast occurred.
Police spokesman Captain Mofana Masela said the bomb squad was called to the scene to investigate.
They took samples to determine the cause of the explosion.
Mum Athalia Shai said Irene was working for a contractor.
“She had been working on a part-time basis for close to three years,” she said.
“Irene was often called to stand in for people who were on leave.”
When the SunTeam contacted Ekurhuleni spokesman Themba Gadebe, he said he had been informed that Irene was a rubbish collector and not a cleaner.
Masela said illegal dumping was a huge concern in Phomolong.
“We appeal to members of the community to stop this behaviour and use the rubbish bins instead of putting lives in danger.”
He said an inquest docket was opened.