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By Hein Kaiser


Boksburg explosion: Fewer deaths if only police responded faster

Private security and medical care companies were counted amongst the first responders.

A faster response by Ekurhuleni Metro Police (EMPD) to Saturday’s explosion in Boksburg, could have saved lives and casualties.

According to eye witnesses, the EMPD only arrived 30 minutes after the blast which took place on Railway Street near the Tambo Memorial Hospital.

ALSO READ: ‘Devastation second to none’ in Boksburg after gas tanker explosion

Prior to that, a fire was already blazing around the truck carrying the Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Ten people, of which two were children, died in the blast with countless others wounded and burnt.

Approximately 37 people are reported to have been injured.

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First responders

Private security and medical care companies were counted amongst the first responders.

Gerald Goslin, a local resident’s ward committee member in the area, said when he arrived on the scene there were some emergency services and police present, but the EMPD that was responsible for crowd control only arrived after the second massive explosion that caused several casualties.

Until that point, there was no onlooker crowd control.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Massive gas tanker explosion in Boksburg leaves several dead, many injured

“Even if the EMPD watched on social media, they would have known what was going on irrespective of any emergency call, and they are based only a few kilometres away from where the incident occurred,” Goslin said.

Ekurhuleni mayoral spokesperson Warren Gilt responded to a question from The Citizen about whether executive mayoral will be taking action about the alleged tardy response of the EMPD: “We will deal with those issues at an appropriate time”.

Local councillor Simon Lapping, who arrived shortly after the incident occurred, broke down in tears after witnessing the disaster firsthand.

He compared it to a war zone and said he had not seen anything like it during his lifetime.

Former mayoral candidate and provincial legislature member Refiloe N’tsheke joined Lapping later along with Ekurhuleni Mayor Tania Campbell who also issued a statement extending sympathy to the families of victims while promising to investigate the blast.

The DA’s Solly Msimanga along with an army of DA public representatives descended on the scene to pledge assistance at hospitals and for families impacted by the event.

Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi also headed to the scene as a growing number of media arrived to report on the explosion.

Meanwhile, Boksburg residents sprang into action and relief efforts are underway to collect food and clothing for victims who have lost their homes in the blast as well as for victims of the incident.

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