Joburg Bree Street Explosion: Egoli Gas detects a ‘small leak’ on one of its pipes

The wreckage on a road with taxis and people walking

Almost 50 people were injured, and one victim has been confirmed dead, following an explosion which happened in the Johannesburg CBD. File Picture: Twitter

Published Jul 20, 2023


Following a massive explosion in Johannesburg's city centre, Egoli Gas has confirmed a "small leak" in its servitude pipeline located at the intersection of Bree and Eloff on a 100-millimetre pipeline.

A servitude is a limited right that one entity has to the use of another's property, and Egoli Gas's pipelines run along the sides of roads rather than in the center, where the explosion took place.

The company believes that the crack in the pipe was caused by the collapse of the road and is currently working to repair the leak.

Egoli Gas stated that the pipeline running along the servitude of Bree Street has been examined and found undamaged.

The company also noted that about 15 other utility lines, including a sewerage line, run directly beneath the street.

"Our pipelines run on the servitude of the road," the company re-emphasized.

Egoli Gas also reported sightings of one or two blown-off manhole covers and a visible white, gas-like substance emerging from these openings as well as from some exposed road cracks.

The company clarified that piped natural gas is not visible to the human eye, suggesting that the visible emissions are likely warm steam.

The explosion resulted in one confirmed fatality and injuries to approximately 48 people, according to the Gauteng province.

Robert Mulaudzi, a spokesperson for the Johannesburg Emergency Management Services, revealed that the male victim's body was recovered from the debris early on Thursday morning.

He further stated, "Forty-one people were treated for serious injuries, ranging from moderate to minor, yesterday. They were transported to various health facilities for further medical care."