By-Nine people have been hospitalised following a massive underground gas explosion in the Johannesburg CBD, causing substantial damage to nearby roads and causing sinkholes.
Videos seen on social media showed cars toppled along Johannesburg’s Bree Street.
According to an alert sent by the Johannesburg Joint Operating Committee of Alexandra, Midrand, Sandringham and Sandton, the explosion occurred at about 5.46 pm.
“We are aware of an explosion on Bree Street in the Johannesburg CBD possibly on the gas lines underground.
“At this time we request the public to stay clear of the area to allow emergency services to attend to the scene,” said the note.
ER24, City of Johannesburg EMS, Disaster Management and several other services responded following the reports of the underground gas explosion.
“On scene, medics and rescue personnel discovered several overturned vehicles along the road, which seemed to have been split wide open,” ER24 said in a statement.
“Medics set up a triage area a safe distance away while Fire and Disaster Services evacuated the general area.
“Initial reports from the scene showed that several people had sustained minor to moderate injuries.
“The patients were treated for their injuries and later transported by various services to nearby hospitals.
“The exact details surrounding this incident are unknown, but the relevant authorities are on the scene for further investigations,” ER24 said.
The huge explosion causes a massive sinkhole in Joburg, South Africa.
Joburg Metro Police spokesperson Xolani Fihla said they had sent officers to the scene to confirm if the videos were true.
“At this stage we have sent officers to the scene to confirm if indeed the videos are true.
“At the present moment, all we know is what we have seen in the videos,” said Fihla.
Other widely recorded voice notes said affected streets in Joburg included Bree and Loveday Streets, and some cars had apparently sunk underground.
IOL photojournalist, Timothy Bernard, who was at the scene said he witnessed a 10-metre wide trench. He said there was a smell of gas in the air.