24 dead in Boksburg following nitrate gas inhalation

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Twenty-four people have been confirmed dead on Wednesday evening at the Angelo Squatter camp, outside Boksburg, following gas inhalation, in a suspected illegal mining activity.

Spokesperson for the Disaster and Emergency Management Services in Ekurhuleni, William Ntladi, who is on the scene, says they received a call just after 20h00 about what was initially thought to be a gas explosion. Tladi says upon arrival they established that it was in fact a gas leakage from a gas cylinder from one of the yards within the informal settlement.

He says initial investigation indicate this could be linked to illegal mining activity in the area.

“When we arrived, we found out that there was no explosion, but gas leakage. As I am speaking to you, I can confirm that the 24 people have died, including women and children, due to nitrate gas inhalation. We suspect this could be linked to illegal mining in the area,” says Ntladi.

“Search and rescue operations are continuing on the scene as we search for more possible bodies,” he adds.

Tladi says no one has been hospitalised.