The gas explosion at Tambo Memorial Hospital in Boksburg has claimed 15 lives. Photo: Harry Munyoro/Facebook
Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla announced on Sunday that the Boksburg gas truck explosion at Tambo Memorial Hospital would be followed up by the clinical management and employee health wellness unit to determine injuries that occurred due to broken windows.
This comes after Phaahla, together with Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, visited the hospital to assess the impact of the incident on the functioning of the hospital.
The incident, which happened on Saturday, claimed 15 lives and left 37 people, including 24 patients and 13 staff members, injured.
He said three of the injured staff members, including a driver and two enrolled nurses who got severe burns, had passed on.
The injured sustained severe burns and had been diverted to neighbouring hospitals. We send our deepest condolences to the families that lost their loved ones
He mentioned the explosion affected the hospital staff in the parking lot and several members of the public who were outside.
“As of Saturday at 6pm, the number of patients admitted in the facility was 321, and no new patients had been admitted since then.”
READ: LIVE | Boksburg explosion death toll climbs to 10
Phaahla said the visit to the facility was suspended until further notice and the facility was on divert wherein patients were referred to other facilities.
This means that we are not taking patients. We are sending people to other facilities nearby. We appeal for patience from the family members
On the hospital’s infrastructure damage, Phaahla said major structural damage was at the accident as well as the emergency unit and the X-ray departments where the server was damaged.
READ: Boksburg explosion: Tambo Memorial Hospital patients moved to public, private healthcare facilities
“The roof was damaged, ceilings fell, windows were broken, and other equipment was damaged. In most of the floors where the windows were broken, it was observed that there was blood on the floor, possibly of injured staff and or patients.”
Phaahla said the casualty and radiology departments were also currently not accessible.
Structural engineers are currently at work. The department of infrastructure development has sent structural engineers to establish the state of safety of the building.
“By the end of next week, there will be a high-level report covering various areas to give a sense of what is the state of the hospital and what kind of work will need to be done to get the facilities on track.”
Phaahla said the infrastructure department was focusing on maintenance work, which included glasses, doors, lighting, and electrical cables while capital work was mainly focused on emergency work, which included roofing and ceiling. He said for medical equipment, a team would be sent to assess the status of the health technology equipment in the facility.