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Boksburg explosion: Truck owner asks Gift of the Givers for guidance on helping victims

The transport company involved in Saturday’s deadly gas tanker explosion in Boksburg has approached humanitarian aid organisation Gift of the Givers for guidance on how to assist the blast victims and their families.

Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman told TimesLIVE on Monday the company owner had sent him a message.

“Families may need support for funeral expenses. We are not sure if any assistance will come from the owner of the transport company — he sent me a message [saying] he wants to discuss how to assist via Gift of the Givers.

“He said it’s heart-wrenching what happened. He wants to get personally involved in assisting but wants to know how to do it the right way and what to do … but it seems he is in an area of no network as my messages have not gone through,” Sooliman said.

TimesLIVE was unable to reach the owner on Monday.

Gift of the Givers made an immediate requirement, burn consumables, available to the hospital after the explosion.

“It can be done now as the focus now is medical. The injured have been taken to several private and public hospitals. Some are critical, so I expect the number [of fatalities] to increase,” he said.

“The people injured are not necessarily from the area around the hospital. Though two houses were damaged, the injuries don’t seem to [all] be from the surrounding homes. The injuries are patients and staff in the [hospital] nurses and other staff waiting at the taxi ranks, onlookers … it’s not clear who is affected and where they live,” Sooliman said.

The death toll climbed to 18 on Monday evening. Gauteng health department spokesperson Tshepo Shawa said of those, nine were Tambo Memorial hospital staff – eight nurses and one driver.

“Tambo Memorial hospital remains on divert. The facility is still not taking new patients and we request that patients bear with us as visits are still temporarily suspended,” said Shawa.

Health minister Joe Phaahla said earlier 37 people, including 24 patients and 13 staff who were in the nearby hospital’s casualty ward at the time of the explosion, sustained severe burn wounds and were diverted to other hospitals.

Ekurhuleni emergency services said the gas tanker got stuck under a bridge in Railway Street, caught alight and then exploded. 


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