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South Africa: Women, children among 24 killed in gas leak at Angelo informal settlement in Boksburg

South Africa gas leak: Ekurhuleni Municipality spokesperson William Ntladi stated that officials were still looking for more victims at the site.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan Johannesburg Published on: July 06, 2023 7:27 IST
South Africa gas leak
Image Source : PTI/REPRESENTATIVE The gas leaked at the Angelo informal settlement in Boksburg city

South Africa gas leak: As many as 24 people lost their lives of suspected gas inhalation at the Angelo informal settlement in South Africa's Boksburg city on Wednesday night. The zama-zamas, who operate out of a shanty in the informal settlement, were said to have leaked a gas cylinder that spilled nitric oxide, reported South African online newspaper TimesLIVE.

Ekurhuleni Municipality spokesperson William Ntladi stated that officials were still looking for more victims at the site. "The search and recovery team is searching the shacks in and around the area where the cylinder was to verify if there are other casualties," he was quoted as saying by the South African news outlet. According to Ntladi, it is unclear when the gas leak started, but by the time emergency personnel arrived at the scene at around 8 pm (local time), the cylinder had already run dry. 

Another Ekurhuleni EMS official provided the details of the dreadful scene where the bodies were recovered. He claimed that among the victims were women and children, with their remains dispersed around the settlement not far from the origin of the leak. 

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Who are zama-zama people?

"The zama-zama people live amongst the community and clean and refine their gold here using gas cylinders. Sadly this time the gas cylinders leaked resulting in the people who were sleeping suffocating. Others who were awake died as they tried to run but the fumes were too much to bare," he added. 

Meanwhile, another official from the local metro police department said that the initial call was only to report about the explosion. "Only with further investigations, it was ascertained to say it wasn’t an explosion there was a gas leakage," he stated. 

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