South Africa: Johannesburg Authorities Confirm Explosion Was Caused by Gas Leak

Harare — The City of Johannesburg made a promise to restore electricity and water as soon as possible following the gas explosion on Lillian Ngoyi Street (previously Bree Street) in the city centre.

As a result of the explosion’s damage to part of its equipment, City Power and Johannesburg Water both discontinued providing direct service to the area. However, both key utility companies stated that they would only send their personnel to fix their lines once the region had been given the all-clear.

The gas explosion on Wednesday, July 19, 2023 tore across the road and caused extensive damage to parts of Lillian Ngoyi Street, and resulted in one death and 48 injuries. At least 23 vehicles were damaged, some of which were transporting commuters home.

During a press conference on Friday, july 21, 2023 Johannesburg’s city manager, Floyd Brink, acknowledged that the explosion was caused by gas. The City’s emergency management services team has worked tirelessly to blast out trapped gas in the subsurface system using positive-pressure ventilation fans, Brink is reported to have  said, assuring the public that the tunnels will be gas-free by Monday, July 24, allowing power to be restored.

The City has issued a warning against approaching the site owing to the unstable ground even if the gas clearance is in progress. The holes have grown wider since the explosion, increasing the possibility of a road collapse.

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