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A case is expected to be opened by the Pretoria-Gauteng police against a truck driver who drove a tanker transporting gas under a bridge where he got stuck, thereby causing an explosion in Boksburg, on Saturday morning.
Not less than nine lives were lost in the gasly accident, with several others sustaining severe burn wounds.
Tambo Memorial Hospital, which is situated close to the scene of the incident, was heavily affected by the explosion, which caused damage to the building and left a total of 13 hospital employees and 24 patients with injuries.
Due to the damage, the hospital is no longer attending to patients, and patients who sustained injuries as a result of the blast had to be transported to near by hospitals.
During a media briefing at the scene, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi stated that six firefighters were injured in an attempt to put out the flames.
Lesufi said the blast destroyed some trucks and houses, while several other houses suffered damage.
“We wish we could explain what happened, but it’s extremely difficult because we have to rely on those assigned in pulling out the facts,” Lesufi said.
He said he was informed that a particular family had lost four members.
“It’s a sad day for our province and for our country, and we want to express our sincere condolences to the affected families.”
Lesufi also verified that the truck driver survived and has been hospitalised.
“The truck was from Richards Bay en route to Botswana, and we don’t understand who it managed to get through this area.”
Gauteng police commissioner Elias Mawela said the police would have an interview with the driver and gather more information before any allegations are made.
“A negligent and reckless driving case will be opened against the driver so that we can establish whether the driver was at fault”
“For now we cannot say whether he was negligent or not”
“On the damaged property, we need to open a case of malicious damage to property so that we can establish who is responsible, whether it was intentional, and so forth,” Mawela said.
Ekurhuleni Mayor Tania Campbell stated that appropriate authorities will examine how temporary shelters can be provided for the displaced.