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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Boksburg gas leak: Gauteng to provide support to affected families

The gas leak claimed the lives of 17 people, including three children and a 1-year-old baby at the Angelo informal settlement in Boksburg.


Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi said the provincial government will provide all the necessary support to the families affected by the toxic nitrate oxide gas leak in Boksburg.

Lesufi was briefing the media following the incident on Wednesday evening.

The gas leak claimed the lives of 17 people, including three children and a one-year-old baby, at the Angelo informal settlement in Boksburg.

About 12 other people were taken to hospital. One was in a critical condition.

Preliminary investigations

Lesufi said he is shocked by the incident.

“On behalf of the Gauteng provincial government, I wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the deceased. We are confident that the investigations led by the police will assist us to get to the bottom of this senseless loss of lives, so we can go back to the affected families and explain what happened.”

ALSO READ: WATCH: Boksburg gas leak death toll rises

It is alleged that the nitrate oxide leaked from a gas cylinder and poisoned the community of the Angelo informal settlement.

Lesufi said preliminary investigations have revealed that the nitrate oxide was being used by illegal miners in the area to extrapolate what is perceived as gold from the soil in the informal settlement.

Calls to curb illegal mining

Meanwhile, the mayor of Ekurhuleni, Sivuyile Ngodwana, extended his condolences to the bereaved families.

Ngodwana also expressed concern over preliminary findings suggesting the nitrate oxide, which caused the lethal leak, was being used by illegal miners to extract gold from the settlement’s soil.

He has called on both national and provincial governments to unite in a joint effort with the City of Ekurhuleni to curb “these perilous activities”.

SANDF

Ngodwana also called for the involvement of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy as well as the Department of Home Affairs in ensuring the safety and well-being of communities, particularly those living in informal settlements.

“Only through collective and coordinated action can we effectively address the threat that illegal mining poses to the safety of our people. We owe it to the victims of this tragedy, and to all our communities, to ensure that this does not happen again,” Ngodwana said.

Condolences

President Cyril Ramaphosa has also expressed his sadness to the tragic loss of lives in Boksburg.

Ramaphosa urged investigators to get to the bottom of what may have caused this accident to avoid similar disasters in future. 

The gas leak comes seven months after the Boksburg gas tanker explosion that claimed the lives of 41 people in December 2022.

ALSO READ: Scores dead after gas leak at Angelo informal settlement in Boksburg