Dozens of people were injured and one person died after an explosion at Bree Street in the Johannesburg CBD on Wednesday evening. Some 12 people still remain hospitalised.
Initial reports suggested the explosion was gas related, but investigations are still underway.
Briefing the media on Thursday morning, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi said all relevant stakeholders who provide services in the area have been brought in to determine the cause.
“We have now formally brought all institutions that deal with gas. We now have Egoli Gas; we have brought Sasol and we are bringing anyone that has either underground pipes or caballing. Telkom, water and any institution that will assist us just to determine the cause of the impact and also give us the necessary advice.
“City Power…have since taken a decision to switch off the Bree Street substation so that the team can go in there and identify the cause and also assist us to identify areas that need our immediate intervention,” he said.
Egoli gas has said it is unlikely that the explosion was caused by a gas pipeline or leak:
”Our network has experienced no pressure loss which indicates the gas pipelines are intact. Our customers in the area continue to receive gas uninterrupted.”
— Egoli Gas (Pty) Ltd (@EgoliGas) July 19, 2023
Lesufi says government agencies, including law enforcement, moved quickly to secure the scene and keep residents safe.
Meanwhile, government has urged citizens to exercise caution when near the area.
A video is doing the rounds on social media of the moment of the explosion. WATCH:
Please avoid the Joburg CBD pic.twitter.com/8J8FufC3Bm
— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) July 19, 2023