Shocking footage from this week captured the moment a powerful blast launched a line of minibuses into the air, sending people on the streets of Johannesburg fleeing for safety. The closed-circuit footage revealed the surreal underground explosion, which tragically resulted in one person’s death and left 48 others injured during the evening rush hour in South Africa’s largest city on Wednesday.
The explosion also caused a significant crack in the road, leading to a stretch of pavement collapsing below ground level. The incident was a harrowing and alarming event that caused significant damage and posed a serious threat to public safety.
In the shocking footage, one man was seen frantically scurrying away as a heavy white bus came dangerously close to crushing him. Unfortunately, another man was not as fortunate, and firefighters discovered his body pinned under a vehicle during their search of the area after the explosion.
As a result of the incident, a dozen victims remained in hospitals across the city on Thursday, while another 36 had been discharged, according to officials. The explosion had caused significant injuries and loss of life, leaving many in the city deeply affected by the tragic event.
As of now, the cause of the blast remains unknown. Initially, authorities believed that the underground gas pipes might be responsible, but the company that supplied gas to that part of the city stated that it did not think their pipes were behind the explosion.
City officials have called in experts to examine other pipes or cables in the area to determine if any other factors could have caused the explosion or if there is a risk of further incidents, such as another explosion or gas leak.
Panyaza Lesufi, the premier of the Gauteng province where Johannesburg is located, stated that they are still searching for the source of the blast.
Due to the uncertainty and potential risks, some residents in the area were forced to evacuate, especially those living in multi-story buildings that could be at risk of collapsing. Some were able to return to their homes or businesses on Thursday, but the situation remains under close scrutiny as authorities continue their investigations.
The explosion caused significant damage in the area, affecting about five city blocks, six roads, and damaging 34 vehicles. Some of the vehicles were flipped over on their sides due to the force of the blast.
Eyewitnesses described a terrifying scene where people were sitting in the minibus taxis, waiting to go home when the explosion suddenly launched them into the air.
A man sitting in his car described hearing a loud sound, and the next moment, he was airborne, with his car overturning. Thankfully, he was shaken but not injured in the explosion.