South Africa counts damage, death by tanker truck explosion

Written by parkingfinds

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa sought the full extent of destruction and deaths caused by a tanker truck explosion on Christmas Eve on Sunday. Near Johannesburg, authorities reported the death toll had risen to 15.

A truck carrying petrol was stuck under a low bridge in the town of Boksburg on Saturday and burst into flames. Paramedics said the tanker exploded as firefighters tried to extinguish the flames.

Authorities said the “molotov cocktail” from the explosion severely damaged Tambo Memorial Hospital, about 100 meters (110 yards) away. Health Minister Joe Fafra said three hospital staff had died.

The hospital’s emergency unit and X-ray department were badly damaged, he said.

Witnesses told the News24 news site that residents who had gathered to see the burning truck fled the blast, some with their clothes burned to the ground. At least 321 injured were taken to the affected hospital, although some were later transferred to other hospitals in the Johannesburg area.

The blast also damaged several homes and vehicles, officials said.

“A fireball in the sky,” resident Rolf Bjornstad described the explosion to News24.

“I had a fever in my house. I thought about helping my wife, my children and the victims,” ​​he said.

A tanker truck carrying liquefied petroleum gas used in homes and industries for heating and cooking was on its way from South Africa’s Indian Ocean port Richards Bay to Botswana, officials said. Questions were being asked as to why the tankers were traveling on local indirect routes rather than on the main roads.

Tania Campbell, mayor of Ekurleni, a municipality that includes Boksburg, said the incident would be investigated.

About the author


Leave a Comment