A week after more than 70 people died in a fire tragedy in the Johannesburg Central Business District (CBD), five people were injured during a gas explosion in Braamfontein on Tuesday.
Johannesburg Emergency Services spokesperson Nana Radebe has confirmed the incident, saying, “the five injured people were taken to different hospitals around the city. We are investigating the cause of the fire.”
Radebe said during the incident, a truck and the building caught fire.
It is alleged that the explosion occurred while Egoli Gas employees were on duty, and their truck caught fire, affecting a nearby building.
Yesterday’s explosion happened when the government is still dealing with the aftermath of last week’s Johannesburg fire tragedy.
When updating the nation about the fire tragedy, which claimed 77 lives, Gauteng Department of Health spokesperson Motalatala Modiba said identifying the bodies of those who died in the inferno was continuing.
Modiba said that only 12 bodies were identified and handed over to the families for burial.
“September 2023, 73 families presented at the Diepkloof Forensic Pathology Service mortuary in Soweto to report their loved ones, which has resulted in a line list of 73 names that possibly perished in the Johannesburg inner-city fire being developed. As many families come forth, Antemortem samples are taken from siblings, children, or parents of the deceased,” he said.
Modiba said the South African Police Service Victim Identification Centre unit was currently processing DNA samples drawn from the 62 unidentifiable bodies and had already taken 36 Antemortem swabs from the immediate family members.
He said the bodies would be released as soon as the results of the DNA tests were finalised and released.
He added that 31 people are still rehabilitating and receiving care in the hospital after 88 patients were seen at various health facilities, including Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, South Rand Hospital, Helen Joseph Hospital, Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, and Tembisa Hospital.
The Gauteng Provincial Government has urged the fire victims who want to inquire about their loved ones to contact 0800 203 886 or a direct line during office hours on 0113553048/ 0112415707. Alternatively, they can visit Diepkloof Mortuary at 2 Collinder Road Bertsham, Diepkloof, Soweto, behind Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.
This year only, the province has experienced several gas explosions. On July 20 a gas explosion occurred within the Johannesburg Business District, killing one person and injuring 48 others.
On July 21, another explosion occurred in Kempton Park, injuring one person.
Last month, two people were killed and four were injured in a gas explosion incident at Zodwa Special School in Atteridgeville, Tshwane.
Early this year, 17 people from an informal settlement near Boksburg died after the illegal miners reportedly damaged the gas pipeline, resulting in a leakage.