…By Henry George for TDPel Media.
A powerful suspected underground gas explosion rocked Johannesburg, South Africa, during the evening rush hour, resulting in significant damage and multiple injuries.
As authorities investigate the cause, fears of a second explosion and potential building collapses have prompted evacuations from the affected area.
The Aftermath: Injuries and Vehicle Chaos
At least nine individuals were injured in the explosion and were promptly transported to the hospital.
Thankfully, their injuries were reported to be non-life threatening.
Over 20 vehicles were overturned, and numerous cracks and sinkholes emerged on the roads, some of which were large enough for vehicles to slide into them.
The Threat of Collapsing Buildings
Panyaza Lesufi, the premier of Gauteng province, expressed concern over the structural integrity of the buildings in the affected area.
Lesufi warned that the buildings were at risk of collapsing, heightening the urgency of the situation.
Extensive damage was observed, and Lesufi personally counted 23 vehicles that were flipped over by the force of the explosion.
Determining the Cause: Gas Leak Suspected
Authorities suspect that the explosion was caused by a gas leak, though it remains unclear whether it originated from underground pipes in the city or another unidentified source.
Investigations are ongoing to determine the exact cause and source of the gas.
Eyewitness Accounts of the Catastrophe
Eyewitnesses described a chaotic scene as the explosion occurred during a time when many people were gathered on the street, waiting for transportation home.
Several minibus taxis and cars were upturned, some stacked on top of each other.
People inside the minibuses were violently thrown into the air by the force of the explosion, leaving them shocked and disoriented.
Ongoing Search and Safety Concerns
Emergency crews continue to search through the wreckage of the overturned vehicles and nearby buildings.
Officials remain apprehensive about the leaked gas, highlighting the potential danger that still looms in the area.
Despite the magnitude of the incident, it is fortunate that no fatalities have been reported thus far.
Previous Incidents and the Current State of Alert
This recent explosion follows an incident earlier this month in which a toxic nitrate gas leak claimed the lives of 17 individuals, including three children, in an informal settlement near Johannesburg.
That incident was attributed to an illegal gold processing operation.
These occurrences underscore the importance of heightened vigilance regarding safety and the need for preventive measures to address gas-related hazards.
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