A gas leak at a South African slum near Johannesburg has resulted in the death of at least 16 people including children. The incident which happened on 5th July 2023 is allegedly linked to illegal mining activities at the Angelo informal settlement east of Johannesburg.
Emergency services spokesman William Ntladi told the media that 16 people were confirmed dead while paramedics managed to resuscitate others who were then rushed to the hospital. He added that 4 people were in critical condition while 11 others are in serious but stable condition.
According to Ntladi, fire and emergency services received a call around 8 pm about a gas explosion. They arrived on scene and discovered that it was a gas leakage from a cylinder containing a poisonous gas suspected to be a nitrate gas. The gas was used by the miners to deduce gold out of the soil.
In a statement, Ntladi said when they arrived in the suburbs of Boksburg, they found scores of people lying all over the area due to inhalation of the toxic gas.
South Africa has an unemployment rate of more than 32% and it is home to thousands of illegal miners who go by the name of “zama zamas” which means “those who try their luck” in Zulu. Many of them scavenge for gold mines often under perilous conditions.