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Investigation Reveals Methane Gas as Cause of Deadly Johannesburg Explosion

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BREAKING NEWS | Explosive Gas Line Incident Shakes Johannesburg CBD - Public Safety Alert!

An investigation into the deadly explosion that occurred on Lillian Ngoyi Street in the Johannesburg city center last month has determined that methane gas was the cause, according to City of Johannesburg City Manager, Floyd Brink, during a media briefing.

The explosion tragically resulted in one fatality, numerous injuries, infrastructure damage, and service disruptions.

Brink explained that methane gas, being lighter than air, traveled along the service tunnel from an undisclosed source to the crest of the tunnel near Von Brandis Street. It was noted that there was no visible fire because the explosive level of methane falls between 5% and 15%, which resulted in an explosion without ignition. The investigation also ruled out other potential causes such as gas leakage, illegal mining, or negligence.

City of Johannesburg City Manager, Floyd Brink,

City of Johannesburg City Manager, Floyd Brink,

The estimated cost for repair work to rehabilitate and reconstruct the affected area is currently over R100 million. Brink indicated that this number is based on initial designs and may increase as detailed designs are developed for the project. The City of Johannesburg has already spent close to R4 million on professional experts, services, site cordoning, and temporary relief in response to the explosion.

Brink emphasized that the city has learned lessons from the incident and has plans in place to prevent similar occurrences in the future. Upgrades to the tunnel design will follow current international codes for tunnels, aiming to minimize the severity of potential explosions. Continuous gas detection, alarms, sensors, and monitors will also be implemented to ensure the safety of staff working in the tunnels. The city will incorporate technology and adhere to relevant international standards for tunnel design and explosion prevention.

In addition to securing the tunnel on Lillian Ngoyi Street, the city plans to undertake similar projects on other streets in the area to address gas detection and other related concerns.



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