Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko has visited hospitalized people who suffered injuries during the massive explosion in Joburg CBD, which left left one person dead.
Accompanying the MEC during her tour of the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital’s head of trauma and disaster management committee, Professor Maeyane Steve Moeng said none of the patients brought to the healthcare facility show signs of poisonous gas inhalation.
“Just to confirm, none of the patients have got any evidence of inhalation from what we have seen at our hospital. To emphasise, most of the injuries are typical with this mechanism, so you have a lot of soft tissue, muscle and fracture type of injuries,” said Moeng.
“There is none of these case with massive head injuries or in need of abdominal operations. They will just need to be having management to the chest, lower limbs and on one patient we will manage the chest injuries that they are having at the moment.”
Nkomo-Ralehoko also said that she has not been informed by health professionals of any patient who is suffering from gas inhalation.
“With the ones that I have seen now, I have not seen any symptoms of gas (inhalation). They had to take me to every patient, but they didn’t indicate that,” she said.
Authorities are scrambling to find answers regarding the recent Joburg CBD explosion that left the 48 people injured.
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, at a press briefing on Thursday, admitted that the lack of information concerning the cause of the blast is raising questions about the competence of the authorities.
“The team must give us answers as soon as possible on which systems are affected. If the systems are not affected, we can restore electricity and water services quickly. However, we are stuck because we don't know the cause,” said Lesufi.
He added: “We cannot have this kind of an explosion and not know why. That alone creates doubts, uncertainty, and questions about the capabilities we possess as a State.”
As investigators work to uncover the cause, Lesufi assured that once it's found, appropriate measures will be taken to support the people affected by the blast.
Updating on the number of victims, Lesufi confirmed that 48 people were injured, with 12 still in the hospital.
The injured were taken to hospitals including Hillbrow, Mulbarton, Garden City, South Rand, and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.
Additionally, 34 vehicles, primarily minibus taxis, were affected by the explosion. Most have been returned to their owners, but seven severely damaged vehicles remain at the scene for the ongoing investigation.