Johannesburg - As city officials scramble to make sense of the Joburg CBD gas explosion that happened on Wednesday afternoon, the DA has called for an investigation into the cause of the explosion.
This comes just as disaster management and emergency services teams were still at the scene of the explosion as they attempted to clear out residents, business owners, and onlookers, and there were reports of a pungent gas smell hanging in the air by Wednesday evening.
Egoli Gas, in a statement, claimed the explosion was not the result of a gas leak.
“It is unlikely that the explosion in JHB CBD, Bree Street, JHB, 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,” read part of the statement.
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi said he was relieved that apart from nine people who were taken to hospital for minor injuries and gas inhalation, there were no fatalities in the incident that left cars and taxis damaged after being blown over by the blast.
In a statement, the leader of the DA in the province, Solly Msimanga, called for a full investigation into the matter.
“The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling on the MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mzi Khumalo, to launch an urgent investigation into the cause of the explosion in the Johannesburg central business district (CBD) earlier this evening,” Msimanga said.
Msimanga said the explosion endangered the lives of the people who work and live in the CBD and thus should be fully probed.
“The cause of today’s explosion must be determined as a matter of urgency to prevent further incidents like this from occurring again.
“Furthermore, this explosion occurred along the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) route, which means that the structural integrity of the road must be determined before being used by the public and public transport vehicles.
“The DA proposes that the government must consider moving people out of some buildings that are situated near the scene of the incident to ensure their safety,” he said.
The EFF said they were concerned about the incident and called for members of the public to be vigilant and exercise caution when travelling in the affected parts of the city.