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By Citizen Reporter


Boksburg explosion: Company launches investigation after its ‘experienced’ driver was in truck

The truck driver's company said he is qualified in working at heights and experienced in transporting hazardous materials.

The company that employs the driver that was involved in the fuel tanker explosion in Boksburg on Saturday said it is investigating the incident.

Innovative Staffing Solutions (ISS) said it has started an “internal and independent investigation” into the circumstances of the fuel tanker explosion in Boksburg.

‘Highly experienced’ driver

It also said the driver of the fuel tanker is “highly experienced”.

The ISS statement said the driver has “a professional driving qualification in working at heights, and seven years of experience in transporting hazardous materials.”

He also recently passed a medical test confirming his fitness to drive, it added.

“We would like to offer our sincere condolences to the families of the deceased, as well as to those who were injured,” ISS Managing Director Arnoux Maré said.

“Our hearts truly go out to all victims of the explosion, and we would like to offer our complete reassurance that we are performing an urgent internal and independent investigation to determine the true cause of the accident.

“The health and safety of our employees, clients and the public are our top priority, and we are taking this incident extremely seriously.”

Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) spokesperson Simon Zwane said the driver was rescued while the truck was burning and taken to hospital.

ALSO READ: Boksburg explosion: Fewer deaths if only police responded faster

Boksburg explosion

The explosion occurred after a truck, belonging to Infinity Gas, that was carrying LP Gas, went under the railway bridge on Hospital Road, close to the OR Tambo Memorial Hospital.

The bridge was not high enough for the truck to move under.

As it went under the bridge, the tops of the gas lids were chopped off the truck. This then started the fire and set off the explosion.

Watch: Aftermath of Boksburg tanker explosion

This video is no longer available.

Poor signage

Poor signage might be one of the reasons the driver tried to go under the low-lying bridge.

A Google Street View picture of the structure revealed a faded, near invisible warning signage on the traffic facing the side of the bridge. The driver would have had no idea that his truck wouldn’t fit under the structure.

Ekurhuleni mayoral spokesperson Warren Gilt confirmed that the bridge and the responsibility of warning signage both belonged to Prasa.

“It’s the responsibility of Prasa to indicate height as it is their asset,” said Gilt.

ALSO READ: Poor signage may have contributed to Boksburg explosion incident

However, the Department of Transport said heavy motor vehicles are not allowed to drive on regional roads in residential areas without first getting a clearance certificate.

Ekurhuleni councillor Simon Lapping also called for an investigation into the explosion.

“There must be a serious investigation into how a truck carrying LP Gas can go under a low-level bridge. Normally these trucks are not permitted to do so,” said Lapping.

EFF wants CEO arrested

Meanwhile, the EFF has called for the CEO of the logistics company, Infinity Gas, which owns the truck.

“Ultimately, the CEO is responsible for all operations of the company and is culpable for the tragedy,” the EFF said.

At least nine people died in the explosion, with close to 40 being injured, including six firemen.

NOW READ: EFF calls for arrest of truck company CEO after Boksburg gas tanker explosion

Additional reporting by Hein Kaiser

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