South Africa: Fifteen Dead in Gas Tanker Blast, Driver Arrested

South Africa: Fifteen Dead in Gas Tanker Blast, Driver Arrested thumbnail

On Saturday, 24 December 2022, in the evening following an explosion of a gas tanker in Boksburg, the police traced and arrested the driver of the tanker at a private hospital where he had been receiving medical treatment for minor injuries.

The 32-year-old suspect has been charged with multiple counts of culpable homicide, negligent causing of an explosion resulting in death [Act 26 of 1956, Section 27 (2)] and malicious damage to property.

Earlier in the day at 06:15, the South African Police Service’s various specialised units as well as officials from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police, Gauteng Emergency Services (EMS), Ekurhuleni Emergency Management Services, Provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs’, Disaster Management, Response and Rescue personnel, and specialised equipment were dispatched to Boksburg’s Railway Bridge on the Hospital Road following an explosion.

Preliminary investigations found that the loaded gas tanker got stuck trying to drive through a low bridge and the impact resulted in an explosion. The gas tanker was allegedly driving from Richard’s Bay en route to Botswana.

The driver as well as several people who sustained injuries including eight firefighters were taken to various hospitals for medical treatment. Thus far, 15 people are reported to have sustained fatal injuries including a 10-year-old boy.

The full damage to infrastructure as well as private property will be communicated in due course. The incident scene is still being cleared.

The suspect will appear before the Boksburg Magistrates Court on 28 December 2022.

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