South African Police Service SAPS officers and forensic experts stand next to bodies in Boksburg, a city east of Johannesburg, on December 24, 2022, after nine people died and 40 others were injured when a fuel tanker exploded. The death toll from a gas tanker explosion in Johannesburg on Christmas Eve has been increased to 34 from an earlier estimate of 27, the provincial health department said on Friday.
The blast tore the roof off the emergency department at the Tambo Memorial hospital in the city's Boksburg suburb on Saturday, killing scores of bystanders, destroying houses and several cars.
A spokesman for the Gauteng Department of Health said that the death toll from the Boksburg Explosion incident has risen to 34 as of Friday, December 30th, 2022.
The victims include 11 health workers and 23 members of the public, according to a spokesperson who said the numbers were constantly being updated.
The number of deaths inflicted by the blast was expected to increase as a result of the severe nature of the burns, authorities said earlier in the day.
The health department shared a message about a memorial for the victims on social media, and included children as young as nine.
Families and friends of the victims, along with health minister Joe Phaahla, gathered at Boksburg Civic Centre on Friday morning for a memorial service and paid their respects by lighting candles.
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The authorities are investigating the incident, and President Cyril Ramaphosa said that authorities were investigating the incident.