A taxi driver, whose car full of passengers shot into the air when an unprovoked explosion occurred on Johannesburg’s Berry Street, described how a scene from the movies happened when his car flew through the air before landing on another one.
Mxolesi Khopica was driving on one of the busiest roads in Johannesburg during the after 5pm rush hour when he suddenly felt A taxi goes up in the air.
“Traffic was bad as usual during rush hour. Suddenly I saw the car going uphill, but before that something happened. It was like a loud explosion. I think it’s gas coming from underground, I don’t know,” Khoubaika said.
The car went up in the air and landed in another taxi. I think the taxi saved us because we didn’t land on much of a trail.”
He said chaos reigned after the blast with many passengers getting out of taxis and cars trying to escape to safety.
Khoubika said he was not injured, but he wasn’t sure if anyone from his car was.
Gauteng’s chief minister, Baniasa Lisovi, described last night’s scene as a miracle as no deaths were reported. “It’s a miracle that there were no fatalities,” Lisofi said.
“My fear is disaster management… I brought this up in the cabinet this morning because disaster has struck and people are still walking around.” [the scene]. If we had a second shock that absorbed people, we would be speaking a different language now. We need to properly manage disasters when they happen.”
He said nine people were injured and taken to hospital. Lisofi said experts, including officials from Igoli Gas, were on the site and people living in nearby buildings were evacuated while an assessment of the extent of the damage was carried out.
He said that about 23 cars were found that overturned during the explosion.
“some people [who live in] These tall buildings will be evacuated and alternative accommodation will be provided as teams assess the safety of buildings across the area,” said Lisofi.
“This is a bad situation and that is why we have advised people to leave so that experts can fully assess the impact of the explosion and whether some buildings are safe.”
Igoli Gas said late on Wednesday that it was unlikely that the explosion was caused by a gas pipeline or a leak.
“Our network has not experienced a loss in pressure, which indicates that the gas pipelines are intact. Our customers in the region continue to receive gas without interruption.”
Thabo Motali from Mzimhlophe, Soweto, who works as a security guard, said he was on his way to work when the accident happened.
He said he saw a huge white cloud in the air after a powerful explosion.
“Cars started turning and we all ran out of the taxi. I actually thank my ancestors that I’m still alive. I thought it was the end of the world. The first thing I did was call my wife when I got to work and tell her about the accident. I still can’t believe I’m alive,” said Motali.
said peddler Geoffrey Nmakundi Everyone fled after the explosion. “The electricity went out, the shops were closed immediately, and we couldn’t work again.”
ER24 spokesman Russell Mering said that several overturned vehicles were discovered along the route, which appeared to have split wide open.
“Paramedics established a triage area at a safe distance while the fire and disaster services evacuated the general area. Initial reports from the scene showed that several people had minor to moderate injuries. The patients were treated for their injuries and were later transported by various services to nearby hospitals.”