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A truck with liquefied gas explodes in South Africa; 8 killed


JOHANNESBURG — A truck carrying liquefied petroleum gas exploded in the South African town of Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, killing at least 8 people and injuring 50 others on Saturday, officials said.

The roof of the truck scraped a low deck, sparking flames that sparked the explosion, according to emergency services officials.

Video footage shared by residents on social media showed the dramatic explosion, with pedestrians fleeing the blaze and cars speeding dramatically. Several homes and vehicles were damaged by the blast, according to local reports.

The tanker truck reportedly delivered gas to the nearby OR Tambo Memorial Hospital, where some of the injured were treated. Patients in some units of the hospital had to be evacuated due to the explosion and fire, according to local media.

“Going through here was just a sight of absolute devastation, I’ve never seen anything like this before,” local resident Simon Lapping told local Citizen newspaper. He said he saw the bodies of six adults and two children.

The incident will be investigated, said Tania Campbell, the mayor of Ekurhuleni, the municipality that includes Boksburg.

“The Disaster Management Cluster is on hand to assist the victims of this tragedy and assess the cause of the accident,” she said. “On behalf of the city, the office of the executive mayor is committed to assisting all actors to ensure that a thorough investigation takes place and those responsible are brought to justice.”

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