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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Joburg CBD explosion: Patients not showing signs of gas inhalation

Gauteng MEC for Health Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko said government hospitals are ready should there be a second explosion.


Gauteng MEC for Health and Wellness Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko said none of patients injured in the Joburg explosion in the CBD have been affected by gas.

Nkomo-Ralehoko briefed the media alongside trauma surgeon and chairman of the Disaster Centre, Professor Maeyane Moeng on Thursday at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg following a blast in Bree Street that has already claimed one life.

48 others were injured in the explosion that overturned minibus taxis and destroyed sections of Bree Street and Rissik Street on Wednesday.

No gas inhalation

At a briefing on Thursday, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi said while city officials are yet to determine the cause of a destructive explosion the smell of gas lingered in the air.

However, Nkomo-Ralehoko said no patient suffered gas inhalation.

“With the patients that I have seen now, I didn’t see any symptoms of gas”

ALSO READ: No lights and ‘the high smell of gas’ morning after the Joburg CBD explosion

Patients

Nkomo-Ralehoko said patients were admitted to hospitals across Joburg following the explosion.

She visited five at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital.

Nkomo-Ralehoko said the province’s hospitals are ready should there be a second explosion.

“We pray this doesn’t happen,” said the MEC.

Injuries

Professor Moeng provided details of the patients injuries.  

“Just to confirm, none of the patients have got any evidence of inhalation from what we have seen at our hospital.

“Most of the injuries are typical of this mechanism. You have a lot of soft tissue, muscle type as well as fracture type of injuries. But there is none of these cases in this hospital that either have a severe head injury or a need of abdominal operations. They will only need management to the chest and lower limbs,” Professor Moeng said.

Gas leak

Egoli Gas confirmed a small leak on the servitude pipeline at the corner of Bree and Eloff streets. It believes the crack in the pipe was caused by the collapse of the road.

The City of Joburg said it was waiting for a report from authorities that would determine whether people living in the CBD needed to be evacuated due to the air quality.

While on the scene in the immediate aftermath of the explosion, The Citizen photographer Nigel Sibanda was informed by officials to wear a face mask to protect against potential gas odour.

ALSO READ: MAP: Avoid these roads affected by Joburg CBD blast

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