Johannesburg, July 19 (EFE).- At least 41 people were injured in a suspected underground gas explosion in a central business district of Johannesburg in South Africa, local authorities confirmed Wednesday.
“The situation is completely under control. Our reinforcement agencies and our emergency agencies…are still trying to get specific answers, for example whether the gas came from our gas tunnels of Egoli Gas or whether it came from any other source,” Panyaza Lesufi, the provincial Premier of Gauteng, where Johannesburg is located, told reporters.
“It is indeed a bad situation. The damage is extensive..its a miracle that there are no fatalities,” he added.
The spokesperson of private emergency medical care provider, E24, Russel Meiring also said that reports so far showed that no one had sustained any fatal injuries.
Photos shared by eyewitnesses on social media show huge cracks on Bree Street as well as overturned vehicles with shattered glass.
Although the causes of the explosion are not yet clear, local media reported that technicians from the public energy services company, City Power, were on their way to the site of the explosion, when the smell of gas could still be felt.
Emergency teams closed part of the affected street and have given evacuation orders to residents of buildings located near the site of the incident.
The incident occurred two weeks after 17 people, including three children, died due to a gas leak in the informal Angelo settlement near the city of Boksburg, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) east of Johannesburg.
At least 41 people were also killed in Boksburg in December last year from a gas tanker blast. EFE