At least five injured in Braamfontein fire

At least five injured in Braamfontein fire

An explosion from a gas pipeline in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, has left at least five people injured, while a truck and a building close to the Nelson Mandela Bridge caught fire.

According to a statement released on the City of Johannesburg’s X (formerly known as Twitter) account, Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda explained that the incident occurred while maintenance was being carried out on an Egoli Gas pipeline.

“The explosion is confirmed to be a gas explosion from an Egoli Gas pipeline that was undergoing maintenance.

“Following the Bree Street incident, the City has placed pressure on eGoli and other service providers to test and maintain their systems to prevent future accidents and minimise the risk to leaks and explosions. Sadly, this explosion occurred during the course of such maintenance.

“Residents in the area are advised that they may experience a strong gas scent and mustn’t be concerned as the gas is being released into the atmosphere and poses no risk to health and life,” Gwamanda said.

Since July, at least two major incidents have rocked the area, namely, a methane gas pipeline explosion at Lillian Ngoyi (Bree) Street, which killed one person and caused serious infrastructure damage, and last week’s Usindiso Building fire, which claimed at least 74 lives.

Gwamanda warned residents to stay clear of disaster areas for their own safety.

“We must, however, also decry a growing tendency where people converge around a scene of disaster, taking pictures and videos, as opposed to evacuating and moving away from such scenes. The Boksburg explosion must be a lesson that scenes of disaster must be cleared immediately by all,” said Gwamanda.

In a statement, Egoli Gas confirmed that the pipeline belongs to it and said the fire was “contained within 15 minutes”.

The company said it has been working closely with the City of Johannesburg since the Lillian Ngoyi Street explosion in July “to make the city safe”.

“This involves exposing sections of pipeline and sleeving to ensure integrity of the network. This process of making the city safe is being rolled out in phases, following the explosion in Bree Street in July and possible damages to the Egoli infrastructure due to that incident.

“A root cause analysis will be concluded and agreement has been reached with the executive team of Johannesburg that JMPD [Johannesburg Metro Police Department] and EMS [Emergency Medical Services] will be informed of future work to assist with the management of traffic and public movement in areas where work is planned,” Egoli gas concluded. –