Relatives and friends of victims of the tanker explosion that claimed the lives of at least 10 people in South Africa have come out to honor them In a memorial service held in Johannesburg.
The death toll in the unfortunate tanker truck explosion near Johannesburg on Christmas Eve has risen to 26, a local official said on Wednesday (Dec. 28).
The Provincial Minister informed the victims’ families about the update during a visit.
A truck loaded with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) got stuck under a bridge in Boksburg on December 24, causing a leak and explosion that severely damaged a nearby hospital.
It carried 60,000 liters (nearly 16,000 US gallons) of liquefied gas, which is often used for cooking.
10 people were initially killed. Health officials said on Monday that another eight people died after suffering severe burns and other injuries, and eight others died later.
According to local media reports, the driver arrested on suspicion of premeditated murder was released due to a lack of evidence.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said his thoughts were with the families and friends of the victims, adding that he was awaiting the results of the investigation into the tragedy.
On board were 60,000 liters of liquefied gas, which is used mainly in the kitchen and in gas stoves, and came from the southeast of the country.
The health minister said the explosion had severely damaged the accident and emergency departments and the hospital’s X-ray department of a hospital close to the scene.
“The roof was damaged, ceilings collapsed, windows were broken and other equipment was damaged,” Bhalla said.
He added that windows were broken on most floors of the hospital.