Boksburg tanker explosion death toll rises to 37
The Gauteng Department of Health is still monitoring other patients in various hospitals.
Damage at the scene of a massive explosion that took place in Boksburg, 24 December 2022. Photo: Neil McCartney / The Citizen
The death toll of the gas tanker explosion on Christmas Eve in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni has now risen to 37, the Gauteng government has confirmed.
The latest update brings the total number of Tambo Memorial Hospital staff deaths to 12.
“The provincial government confirms that the number of staff members who were injured during the incident is 35, and not 13, as previously communicated. The 35 injuries are inclusive of those that demised. Majority of the staff have been treated and discharged,” the provincial government said in a statement on Wednesday.
Some workers from the City of Ekurhuleni’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) who were injured during the explosion have since been discharged.
“Six have been discharged, while two have since been downgraded from intensive cared to normal wards and are recovering well.”
The Gauteng Department of Health is still monitoring other patients in various hospitals, according to the provincial government.
A memorial service for the blast victims was held at the Boksburg Civic Centre on Friday.
The 24 December explosion took place after an liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanker got stuck under a railway bridge.
A preliminary investigation has revealed that the damage to infrastructure runs into millions of rands.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula is reportedly in possession of a report regarding the cause of the tragedy.
“I will answer that next week about that tanker because tankers, flammable and dangerous, are supposed to use national roads and all the owners know that. We needed to give the mourners, the people, space to mourn but now we need to confront the issue,” Mbalula said.
Truck driver freed
Meanwhile, the driver of the truck has been released from police custody pending further investigation.
An official from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said there was no case against the 32-year-old, as provincial police said there was not enough evidence against him.
There had apparently been a unilateral decision to release him.
However, the Road Traffic Management Corporation still believes the driver has a case to answer.
Innovative Staffing Solutions (ISS), the company that employs the driver, previously indicated that it has started an “internal and independent investigation” into the circumstances of the explosion.
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