President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed deep sadness at the continued loss of life relating to the Boksburg truck explosion on Christmas eve.
President @CyrilRamaphosa is deeply saddened by the continued loss of life following the explosion of a truck near the OR Tambo Memorial Hospital on Saturday, 24 December 2022. https://t.co/c9m2WHFaH1
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) December 27, 2022
The death toll from the explosion near the OR Tambo Memorial hospital has now risen to 18 and a significant number of people have been injured.
The truck carrying LPG gas exploded after the driver tried to drive under a low-lying bridge.
In a statement, Ramaphosa says the nation’s hearts go out to everyone affected by this devastating incident.
He says his thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have perished in the incident and has wished the injured persons speedy and full recovery.
Ramaphosa says government is taking all necessary actions to bring relief to persons affected by the incident.
The truck driver has since been arrested on charges including culpable homicide.
Gauteng Infrastructure MEC Lebogang Maile is expected to give an update later on Tuesday morning on the investigation undertaken by his department on the hospital’s infrastructure damage.
Vigilance on the roads
Meanwhile, Ramaphosa has called for vigilance and caution on the country’s roads to avoid risk.
The President’s Spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, says: “Such events take on greater sadness and tragedy when they occur at this time of year when all of us pray for safety and look forward to the togetherness and comfort of extended time with family and friends. While we await the outcome of investigations into this tragedy, this incident does, like so many others, call on all of us to show due care and to avoid risk when we are out on our roads which we share as a public amenity.”
-Additional reporting by Zoleka Qodashe