City of Johannesburg in the process of declaring Bree Street explosion a local State of disaster.
Bree Street rippled by gas explosion.

An underground explosion rippled through Bree Street on July 19, 2023, Wednesday evening. The gas explosion lifted pedestrians and taxis into the air. The disaster left one dead and 48 injured.

The City Manager of the City of Johannesburg, Mr. Floyd Brink, led a technical media briefing on the progress of the restoration effects. The city Manager praised the deployment response personnel, which are Fire, health, and Police Services, for their rapid, well-coordinated, and effective efforts.

Brink says, “In terms of the disaster management response, the City has commenced the process of compiling a report to the Provincial Management Center through the Disaster Management Center in order to commence with the legislative processes to declare the explosion a local state of disaster.”

He continues to cite that “the declaration of a local state of disaster will allow the City to access the impact of the explosion on the infrastructure and the cost of the rehabilitation and reconstruction work that must take place.”

Progress made

City Power has successfully restored power to the area, which includes Bank City Pritchard’s West, West of Loveday, Jeppe West, Diagonal, Sauer, Harrison, President, Siemens Street, West of Bree Street, and Wanderes Taxi Rank.

There’s been restoration of feeder cables under the collapsed road on Lilian Ngoyi Street, and Joburg Water has concluded repair work at two broken sower connections, that’s at Bree and Loveday Street as well as Bree and Von Brandis.

The damage to the water main along Bree and Jubert Streets has also been repaired, and water has been restored to the affected blocks. The damage to the water main in Bree and Lovaday Street was repaired, but some leaks occurred due to alignment issues.

The City Manager says “the investigations are still inconclusive on the cause of the explosion and what may have ignited the gas explosion.”

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