Johannesburg explosion caused by gas leak: Official

Johannesburg explosion caused by gas leak: Official

Rush hour road explosion killed 1, injured 50 on Wednesday

By Hassan Isilow

JOHANNESBURG (AA) – A massive explosion that ripped apart a busy road in South Africa's biggest city of Johannesburg on Wednesday was caused by a gas leak, an official confirmed on Friday.

“The ignition was accidental and the cause was a gas explosion. This is a pure gas explosion,” city of Johannesburg consultant and civil engineer, Johan La Grange, told reporters.

“There is no terrorist activity from the footage we have seen,” he said, ruling out any “foul play.”

A huge explosion went off on a busy Johannesburg street on Wednesday after 5 p.m. local time (1500GMT) during rush hour as thousands of people were rushing to home from work. One person was killed and nearly 50 were injured.

Bree Street, where the blast occurred, has since been cordoned off together with parts of the adjacent streets disrupting the lives of many commuters and residents.

The explosion overturned several passenger vehicles with the street surface ripped apart as if from an earthquake.

Bree Street has a taxi terminal where thousands of commuters usually board minibus taxis, a common method of transportation to homes, schools, and workplaces.

Johannesburg City manager Floyd Brink said the affected area will be fenced for construction to start soon.

La Grange said buildings near the explosion have not been damaged, adding the foundations of the buildings are deep and several meters away from the explosion site.

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