One person was killed and 48 others injured after an underground gas explosion tore through a major metalled road, sending the parked and moving cars flying up in the air in Johannesburg, a video released on social media showed.
According to emergency management services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi, “in the early hours of this morning, we managed to recover a body of a male person on site where the explosion occurred.”
While the cause of the explosion in South Africa’s biggest city remains unclear, the company that supplies gas to the region said that it did not believe its underground pipelines were the reason for the accident as it was initially believed to be caused by authorities.
People present at the scene at the time of the explosion reported that they could smell chemical odours and observed fumes escaping after the explosion.
Meanwhile, the body of the deceased was recovered while rescuers searched the area through the night found during a nighttime search of the affected area, according to Johannesburg’s Emergency Management Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi’s tweet.
City authorities are investigating underground pipes and cables for potential explosion or gas leak threats, involving specialists.
“We are still searching for the source,” said Panyaza Lesufi, the premier of the South African province of Gauteng, where Johannesburg is located.