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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Joburg CBD Explosion: One dead, 48 injured after blast

Johannesburg Emergency Services said the first body was discovered in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Johannesburg Emergency Services (EMS) has confirmed they have recovered a body from the scene of an underground explosion in central Johannesburg.

The city was plunged into chaos after the blast on Wednesday, when the road split wide open, damaging cars and overturning minibus taxis.

Joburg Mayor Kabelo Gwamanada and Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi rushed to the scene of the explosion to assess the damage and brief the media.

Death and injuries

Johannesburg Emergency Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said the body of first casualty of the blast was discovered in the early hours of Thursday morning.

“In the early hours of this morning, we managed to recover a body of a male person on site where the explosion occurred yesterday.”

Lesufi said the body was discovered under a car in the wreckage.

“Unfortunately, during the process of handing over the vehicles that were affected to their owners we found the body of a male underneath the cars. The body has not been identified and we are trying to locate relatives and family members.”

He said the number of injured was 48, with 12 still in hospital. The injured were rushed to nearby hospitals.

ALSO READ: ‘Unlikely Joburg explosion caused by gas leak’ – Egoli Gas

Road closures

Mulaudzi added the area affected by the blast has been cordoned off.

“At this stage, most parts of the roads in and around Bree Street are still closed. Motorists are urged to use alternative roads,” Mulaudzi said.

Meanwhile, as officials assessed the scene to determine the cause of the blast, Egoli Gas said it is unlikely the explosion in Bree Street, Joburg was caused by a gas pipeline or leak.

Gas leak?

The gas supplier said its gas network has experienced no pressure loss which indicates the gas pipelines are intact.

“Our gas pipelines operate at extremely low pressure providing safe gas supply in highly built up areas and are therefore unlikely to cause an explosion or explode.

“Initial reports have shown the collapse in the road to be mainly in the center. Our gas pipelines are located in the road servitudes on the sides of roads,” Egoli Gas said.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Scores injured after suspected gas line explosion in Johannesburg CBD

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