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Gas tanker explosion death toll rises to 18

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3 more people have succumbed to injuries sustained during the gas tanker explosion in Boksburg bringing the death toll up to 18, the Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) announced on Monday evening.

“Of the 18 deceased people, 9 are Tambo Memorial Hospital staff (consisting of 1 driver, and 8 nurses),” stated GDoH.

Thirty-seven people, including 24 patients, who were situated in the hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department and 13 staff members who were outside the Wards and the hospital parking lot at the time of the explosion sustained severe burns.

The injured were taken to other hospitals in and around Gauteng.

Tambo Memorial Hospital remains on divert. “The facility is still not taking new patients and we request that the patients bear with us as visits are still temporarily suspended,” the department said.

Ten people were killed when the truck transporting gas got stuck under a bridge near Tambo Memorial Hospital and started leaking resulting in a massive explosion that caused extensive damage to private and public infrastructure within an estimated 500 metres from the scene on Christmas eve.

Sadly eight more people who had sustained severe burns and injuries have since demised as of Monday, 26 December 2022.

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Call to identify deceased persons

The GDoH called on affected families to visit the mortuary to identify their loved ones at the Germiston Forensic Pathology Services situated at 10 Long Street, Germiston, (behind SAPS Germiston).

“Families can also contact make contact on 082 306 2887 which is a 24-hour line. The Forensic Pathology Services operate from 08:00 to 15:00 Monday to Friday excluding public holidays and on weekends. However, given the
need to assist families the offices will be opened on Tuesday, 27 December 2022,” the department said.

It is advisable for families to note that the person who is designated to conduct the identification of the deceased loved one needs to bring the following:

  • Original ID document of the family member coming to identify the deceased.
  • No driver’s licence is accepted in line with the Identification Act
  • An original Identification Document of the deceased person is needed, or an abridged birth certificate where an ID is not available.
  • If the deceased person is a child without an ID, a birth certificate is acceptable.
  • An Abridged birth certificate for adults can be obtained from Home Affairs offices.
  • If the deceased is a foreign national, a passport, an asylum seeker certificate, or a letter from the country of origin Embassy confirming who the deceased is and to whom the mortal remains should be handed over.

Counselling services to families coming to identify their loved ones will be offered on-site through registered counsellors.

GDoH also called on families who have loved ones at Tambo Memorial Hospital to call the facility on 011 898 8000 to check the status of their loved ones.

Members of the public who might want to report missing persons in relation to the Boksburg explosion can contact the Gauteng Provincial Government Service Delivery Hotline number on 0800 228 8227.

GDoH says that plans are afoot for the Gauteng Provincial Government to visit affected families. The social workers from the Gauteng Department of Social Development together with the City of Ekurhuleni will be providing counselling services.

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