Cape Town - The death toll for the Boksburg explosion has risen to 37 with additional body parts found around the area of the incident, Gauteng police confirmed.
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi said he was informed on Wednesday and 37 of the confirmed deaths are 12 healthcare workers of which 10 are government employees and two agency staff all stationed at Tambo Memorial Hospital (TMH).
“The provincial government confirms that the number of TMH staff members who were injured during the incident is 35, and not 13, as previously communicated.
“The 35 injuries are inclusive of those that demised. The majority of the staff have been treated and discharged.
“Eight Ekurhuleni Emergency Medical Services personnel were injured during the explosion. Six have been discharged, while two have since been downgraded from intensive care to normal wards and are recovering well,” Lesufi said.
Lesufi conveyed condolences on behalf of the provincial government to the families of the deceased and assured the continued support by goverment during this time.
“We continue to stand with the many families whose lives have been changed forever by the tragic incident. This has not been an easy period, particularly for those who lost their loved ones. We implore our health professionals to provide the best care to those that are still on the road to recovery,” he said.
Several people are still in various hospitals and the health department will continue to monitor their situation.
Lesufi said some families have buried their loved ones while others will bury their loved ones this week and next week.
The national and provincial government have deployed officials to attend the funerals to provide support to the families affected by the tragedy.
Many families have expressed words of appreciation for the overwhelming support they have been receiving from the public and are pleased that their privacy has been respected throughout the grieving process, particularly where they have chosen to hold private services.
“There is ongoing counselling to staff and their families, and to the bereaved families offered by clinical psychologists, social workers, and chaplains. Where necessary, government, working with organisations such as Gift of the Givers and AVBOB, has assisted with the burial arrangements above other social relief measures offered to affected families,” Lesufi said.
Services such as the antenatal clinic, operating theatre, outpatient department, and maternity services have since resumed at the Tambo Memorial Hospital.
The affected areas included are the accident and emergency unit, radiology, and clinical departments including maternity services for high-risk patients.
Contractors remain on site to work on the affected sections of the hospital in an attempt to restore all services as quickly as possible.
The Boksburg tanker explosion occurred on Christmas Eve.