A total of 34 people have died due to a gas tanker explosion that occurred in Boksburg, South Africa’s Gauteng Province, on Christmas Eve, an official from the province said Friday.
“As of Thursday morning, we have 34 deaths occasioned by what is commonly referred to as the Boksburg explosion,” said Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, a member of the Executive Council for Health and Wellness in Gauteng Province, during a memorial service held for the deceased.
On Dec. 24, a truck carrying liquefied petroleum gas got stuck under a low-lying bridge in Boksburg, and a blast occurred when the vehicle caught fire due to friction.
Among the deceased 34, 11 are healthcare workers from Tambo Memorial Hospital, about 100 meters from the scene of the explosion, while 23 are members of the public, according to the country’s Minister of Health Joe Phaahla, who said at the memorial service that they are helping the families to cope with their loss.
“This is a setback in our common endeavours to build families and to strengthen the healthcare sector in the country,” Phaahla said.