Three children among 16 to die in gas leak accident in Boksburg

Death toll at informal settlement revised down to 16

06 July 2023 - 06:54
By Khanyisile Ngcobo
The body of a child lies covered as police stand guard at the scene following a suspected gas leak thought to be linked to illegal mining in the Angelo shack settlement, near Boksburg, east of Johannesburg.
Image: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters The body of a child lies covered as police stand guard at the scene following a suspected gas leak thought to be linked to illegal mining in the Angelo shack settlement, near Boksburg, east of Johannesburg.

Ekurhuleni's emergency management service (EMS) has revised the death toll in the suspected gas inhalation incident at a Boksburg informal settlement, confirming that 16 people have died and not 24 as initially believed.

EMS in the early hours of Thursday initially said two dozen people had died at Angelo informal settlement after nitrate oxide apparently leaked from a gas cylinder used by zama-zamas who operate from a shack in the informal settlement. 

Ekurhuleni EMS spokesperson William Ntladi later revised this down to 16 and gave a breakdown of the revised number as well as the number of those hospitalised.

"[Among those who died were] eight men, five women and three children,” he said.

“Others have been resuscitated after the intervention of the paramedics on site and they were transported to Tambo Memorial Hospital for further medical care.

“Those admitted to the hospital are 16 in total, of which four are in a critical state and 11 others are in a serious but stable condition. One was admitted in a fully conscious state,” Ntladi said.

He confirmed that forensic investigators and police were at the scene investigating the exact cause of the incident. Police have since taken over the scene, he added.

Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi and Ekurhuleni mayor Sivuyile Ngodwana visited the area overnight.

* This is a developing story

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