Nitrate gas inhalation causes death of 17 in Boksburg

Angelo Informal Settlement, in Boksburg, east of Joburg, was the scene of devastation on Wednesday evening as several people, including women and children, were reported to have died from nitrate gas inhalation. 

Many of the deceased are said to be illegal miners in the area. 

On Thursday morning the death toll had increased to 17 after one person reportedly died at the Tambo Memorial Hospital, during the early hours of the morning. 

The youngest victim is reportedly a year old. 

The gas inhaled by the community is said to be the result of a leaking gas cylinder suspected to have been stolen from a nearby warehouse for illegal mining. 

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi was at the scene and will address the media later on Thursday.

“Together with the Executive Mayor, we are currently at the #BoksburgGasLeak scene. Our disaster teams are hard at work. At the appropriate moment, we will provide full details,” he said. 

The area has been plagued by tragedy lately. On Boxing Day, Decemebr 2022, a fuel tanker exploded underneath a railway bridge resulting in the death of 41 people. 

In June 2023, the Council for GeoScience recorded a 4.4 magnitude quake originating in Boksburg, which saw many homes damaged. 

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