JOHANNESBURG >> A truck carrying liquified petroleum gas has exploded in the South African town of Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, killing at least 8 people and injuring 50 others on Saturday, officials said.
The top of the truck scraped a low-lying bridge, sparking flames that caused the explosion, according to emergency services officials.
Video footage shared by residents on social media showed the dramatic explosion, with pedestrians running away from the blaze and cars dramatically speeding away. Several houses and vehicles have been damaged by the explosion, according to local reports.
The tanker was reportedly delivering gas to the nearby O.R. Tambo Memorial Hospital, where some of the injured were treated. Patients in some units at the hospital had to be evacuated because of the explosion and fire, according to local media reports.
“Walking through here was just a sight of absolute devastation, I have never seen something like this ever before,” local resident Simon Lapping, told the local Citizen newspaper. He said he saw the bodies of six adults and two children.
The incident will be investigated, said Tania Campbell, the mayor of Ekurhuleni, the municipality which includes Boksburg.
“The disaster management cluster is on-site assisting the victims of this tragedy and assessing the cause of the accident,” she said. “On behalf of the city, the office of the executive mayor commits itself to assisting all role-players in ensuring that a comprehensive investigation takes place and those who are liable are brought to book.”