Mysterious Explosion Rocks Johannesburg, South Africa

mysterious explosion rocks johannesburg south africa
Felix Dlangamandla/Daily Maverick/Gallo Images via Getty Images

A huge explosion damaged vehicles and caused numerous injuries on Bree Street in Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday.

Early reports suggested a gas leak might have caused the blast, but the local gas company insisted there was no evidence of such a leak, and all of its customers in the area “continue to receive gas uninterrupted.”

The explosion was powerful enough to buckle the street and toss vehicles into the air like toys:

South African authorities said on Thursday that at least one person was killed in the blast, and 48 more suffered minor to severe injuries. Officials asked residents to stay away from the area because the possibility of another explosion cannot be ruled out.

“Several streets have been closed to traffic, and electricity supply in the area has been sealed off, in what is usually one of the busiest parts of South Africa’s commercial hub,” BBC reported.

mysterious explosion rocks johannesburg south africa

Destruction caused by an alleged gas explosion in the Central Business District (CBD) along Bree Street on July 19, 2023, in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Felix Dlangamandla/Daily Maverick/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

Egoli Gas, the company that supplies the Bree Street area of Johannesburg, said it was “unlikely” an underground gas pipe leak caused the explosion.

“Our network has experienced no pressure loss, which indicates the gas pipelines are intact. Our customers in the area continue to receive gas uninterrupted,” Egoli said on Thursday.

Egoli said later Thursday it found a “small leak” in one of its pipes, but it was too small to account for the explosion. A preliminary investigation by city officials suggested no other explanation.

“The Bree Street substation remains affected by power outages. The city is assessing whether it’s safe to restore it after the explosion. Energy and gas together could cause a serious explosion,” warned city power manager Charles Mohlaka.

“What we indicate is that leakage could either be from the mainline or it can be from a distributor, in other words, a consumer… it feeds back into the cavity under the road. The cavity is built of bricks, and that is where the main electricity lines are running,” said Civil Engineer Johan La Grange, a consultant to the city of Johannesburg.

mysterious explosion rocks johannesburg south africa

A general view of a damaged road in Johannesburg on July 20, 2023, following an unexplained explosion, which occurred during rush hour on July 19, 2023. (LUCA SOLA/AFP via Getty Images)

City officials estimated that damage from the blast was spread over five city blocks and might be severe enough to threaten the structural integrity of buildings along the street. The large number of injuries was attributed to crowds of people having gathered to catch rides in minibus taxis, a popular form of transportation in South Africa. According to witnesses, there were people inside some of the vehicles that were thrown into the air.

Authored by John Hayward via Breitbart July 20th 2023