Chaos and bedlam erupted in Boksburg today after a gas tanker exploded in a suburb close to a hospital, killing nine people and injuring several others.
The explosion caused a huge fire ball that caught people several hundred metres away from its epicentre.
Graphic images and videos were circulated online of people, their flesh falling off their skin walking near the explosion in a zombie like state.
Emergency services worked around the clock as Emer-G-Med paramedics attended to multiple patients, with critical injuries.
In a statement released on Saturday, Emer-G-Med’s spokesperson, Kyle van Reenen, said among the injured was a firefighter who suffered severe burn wounds and has been taken under the care of an emergency medical practitioner to a nearby hospital.
Two people have been airlifted from the scene to hospital for critical care treatment.
According to a statement from Van Reenen, Emer-G-Med paramedics and multiple emergency service agencies were in attendance in Railway Street, where the blast occurred.
Multiple firefighters have also been injured in the explosion while they were trying to extinguish the blaze.
“Reports from the scene is that a fuel tanker burst into flames. At this stage we can confirm there have been multiple people left with critical injuries, and several fatalities,” Van Reenen said earlier on Saturday.
According to a Netcare statement, the LPG tanker slammed into a bridge and burst into flames, killing eight people and injuring scores of others.
Local authorities cordoned off the scene, closing Hospital Road and Railway Street.
The explosion also heavily impacted healthcare services.
OR Tambo Memorial Hospital has been severely impacted by the blast, and is now unable to accept any patients because of the damage to the building.
Visuals from within OR Tambo Memorial Hospital show an empty hospital with debris on the floor, people scrambling for safety and a collapsed ceiling.
South Africans took to social media to share condolences, thoughts and prayers, while others urged users to stop sharing graphic pictures and videos of the scene.