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Survivors Still Searching For Answers After Boksburg Blast

A year after a devastating gas explosion that left more than 40 people dead and dozens injured in Boksburg- and no one has been held accountable.

A couple who survived the blast say they have been left scared and destitute and are still seeking answers.

It was a bleak Christmas for some families in the east of Johannesburg.

On the 24 of December 2022, a driver of a gas tanker carrying 60 000 tons attempted to pass through a low-lying bridge but got stuck and exploded.

Eyewitnesses described devastating scenes.

The Tambo Memorial Hospital a few metres away was also damaged.

Elvis and Bernadine Philander are survivors of the blast, they suffered third degree burns and were not expected to live.

The Philanders say the only assistance has come from the community.

In a statement the Gauteng provincial government says support was offered.   

It replaced windows and rooftops, provided psycho-social support and food parcels. Together with NGOs it covered the costs to bury all the victims and repatriating bodies of foreign nationals.

It adds that government doesn’t give financial support directly but rather services to replace what was destroyed.

The driver of the gas tanker was initially arrested and charged with several cases of culpable homicide but the charges were dropped.

The police say investigations are ongoing and once they have been completed the docket will be taken to a senior public prosecutor for a decision.

This brings very little comfort or closure for survivors of the blast whose scars are a daily reminder of that fateful day.