A truck carrying liquified petroleum gas has exploded in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, South Africa killing at least 9 people and injuring 50 others on Saturday, officials said.
The top of the truck scraped a low-lying bridge, sparking flames that caused the explosion, according to emergency services officials.
Patients were evacuated from the hospital’s casualty after part of the roof collapsed following the blast.
“Apparently, the gas tanker drove under the subway bridge and got stuck in there, and due to friction, it caught alight,” emergency services spokesperson William Ntladi was quoted as saying.
As firefighters tried to put out the fire, there was a huge second explosion that destroyed a fire engine and two motor vehicles.
Video footage shared by residents on social media showed the dramatic explosion, with pedestrians running away from the blaze and cars dramatically speeding away. Several houses and vehicles have been damaged by the explosion, according to local reports.
The tanker was reportedly delivering gas to the nearby O.R. Tambo Memorial Hospital, where some of the injured were treated.
“Walking through here was just a sight of absolute devastation, I have never seen something like this ever before,” local resident Simon Lapping, told the local Citizen newspaper. He said he saw the bodies of six adults and two children.
Footage apparently taken in the immediate aftermath of the blast shows a number of dazed and burned people stumbling around a residential area near the epicentre.
The incident will be investigated, said Tania Campbell, the mayor of Ekurhuleni, the municipality which includes Boksburg.