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By Hein Kaiser

Journalist


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

Eight people confirmed dead with area being evacuated as Boksburg gas pipeline being secured near explosion site.


Ekurhuleni councillor Simon Lapping said the site of the explosion in Boksburg on Saturday is “devastation second to none”.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before and I cannot believe the trauma that’s happened like this the day before Christmas,” Lapping added.

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Investigation

The councillor said he is certain there will be 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.

Eight confirmed dead

Eight people have so far been confirmed dead – six adults and two children. Multiple injuries have also been reported.

Six firemen were also injured during the second blast.

Gas pipeline being secured near explosion site

There is a Prasa gas pipeline near where the explosion happened. Authorities at the scene said the pipeline is not secure and have cordoned off the area.

An explosives team has arrived at the scene and the area has been evacuated.

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.

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

Gas truck explodes under bridge

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.

‘Everybody started running’

A young eyewitness at the scene, said she heard a minor blast at 6am and then a “really big explosion” at around 8am.

“Everybody started running,” she said. “The whole bridge fell down”

“It’s just so sad. A lot of people got hurt and houses are affected,” she added.

‘Devastation second to none’ in Boksburg after gas tanker explosion
Emergency services personnel at the scene after a massive explosion in Boksburg, Gauteng, on 24 December 2022. Photo: Hein Kaiser

Emergency rescue services are on the scene.

Homes in the area have also been evacuated.

Pictures and videos of the scene show how gruesome the disaster was. Dead bodies can be seen lying on the ground, with some victims suffering severe burns.

Severed limbs can also be seen as smoke wafts through the air.

‘Devastation second to none’ in Boksburg after gas tanker explosion
Debris can be seen on the road after a gas truck exploded when it drove into a bridge. Photo: Hein Kaiser

Tambo Memorial Hospital

According to Emer-G-Med, the Tambo Memorial Hospital has been severely affected by the blast and is not accepting any patients.

It is unconfirmed if anyone was injured within the hospital, it added.

A video shared by Emer-G-Med showed the damage inside the hospital.

Watch: Tambo Memorial Hospital damaged by explosion

Ceiling panels can be seen littered across the hospital’s floor, as other support structures and wires hang down.

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Boksburg explosion