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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Boksburg Gas Leak Claims 24 Lives, Emergency Services Confirm

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24 people have died after being exposed to a highly toxic gas in Boksburg on Wednesday night.

The victims include women and children who were near the shack containing the leaking gas at Angelo informal settlement.

The toxic gas is suspected to be associated with illegal mining operations.

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According to William Ntladi, the spokesperson for Ekurhuleni emergency services, the source of the gas was a cylinder discovered in a shack within the informal settlement in Boksburg.

Boksburg Gas Leak Claims 24 Lives, Emergency Services Confirm
EMS at the scene of the tragedy. Pic supplied

It remains unclear whether the owner of the shack was among the deceased.

Ntladi explained that a distress call was received around 8pm, reporting an explosion caused by a gas cylinder at the settlement.

However, upon arrival, emergency responders discovered that the cylinder had not exploded but had leaked a highly toxic gas, resulting in the unfortunate loss of 24 lives, including women and children.

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Due to ongoing search and rescue efforts within the settlement, Ntladi was unable to provide a definitive count of women and children among the victims, stating that a secondary search was being conducted inside the shacks.

Preliminary investigations indicate that the toxic gas was being used in illegal mining activities.

Ntladi expressed his expectation that further information would emerge as the search teams continued their work at the scene.

Identifying the victims proved challenging due to the incident being treated as a crime scene.

Ntladi explained that law enforcement photographers from the SAPS forensics unit needed to complete their preliminary investigations before the bodies could be identified.

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Read | DPP to decide whether to prosecute company or driver of Boksburg explosion

While the Angelo informal settlement appeared calm during the interview, Ntladi emphasized the gravity of the situation.

He acknowledged that many people may be unaware of the events unfolding during the night, but losing 24 lives in a single incident was a devastating occurrence.

He also highlighted the inherent dangers associated with illegal mining activities, emphasizing their illegality and lethal nature.

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