Death toll from Boksburg tanker explosion rises to 34

Death toll from Boksburg tanker explosion rises to 34

The Gauteng health department has confirmed the death toll from the Boksburg tanker explosion now stands at 34. 

Boksburg blast memorial
Gauteng Government

This comes as seven more people succumbed to their injuries. 

ALSO READ: Boksburg tanker blast death toll climb to 27

On the morning of Christmas Eve, a tanker, that was transporting liquid petroleum gas (LPG), became stuck under a low-lying bridge in the Plantation residential area causing a leak that resulted in a deadly blast. 

Speaking at a memorial service held for the victims at the Boksburg Civic Centre on Friday, Health Minister Joe Phaahla says while he acknowledged that he had to prepare for the worst, the rising toll has come as a shock. 

“On Sunday, when we were at the hospital with the MEC, I did say that an event of this nature can be far-reaching in terms of its consequences – especially knowing that burns through direct heat or fire goes very deep in the body. But, even as one acknowledged that we must be ready for these difficulties, I must acknowledge that the tragedy and the loss of life would be as extensive as we are seeing today." 

Phaahla was joined by health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, Ekurhuleni Mayor Tania Campbell, and Tambo Memorial Hospital CEO Senzo Ndubula at the event held in honour of the victims. Eleven staff members for the nearby hospital are among the deceased.

Mayor Campbell promised grieving families that a thorough probe into the blast will be conducted. 

"It is a pain that is beyond words, a wound so deep that we will never fully heal. As I stand here today, I want to convey to every one of you that no stone will be left unturned to get to the bottom of this tragic disaster." 

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