Toxic gas leak in South Africa: 16 including three children killed.

At least 16 people, including three children, were killed after toxic gas leaked from a cylinder near Johannesburg, South African police said, as per Associated Press. Emergency services said that as many as 24 people might be dead without clarifying the discrepancy in the death toll. Search and rescue teams continued their operations as they ascertained the extent of the casualties.

The incident took place in the city of Boksburg on the eastern outskirts of Johannesburg, police informed. In December, 41 people had died in Boksburg after a truck carrying petroleum gas stuck under a bridge and exploded. The area is also linked with illegal mining which is rife as the region around Johannesburg is gold-rich. Minors often go into closed and disused mines to search for any deposits left over, Associated Press reported.

Emergency services spokesman William Ntladi said the deaths were caused by a leak from a gas cylinder which was being kept in a shack in the Angelo settlement. The leak had stopped and teams were searching a 100-metre radius around the cylinder to check for more casualties. Bodies were still lying on the ground “in and around the area”, William Ntladi said. Forensic investigators and pathologists were on their way to the scene of the gas leak.

“We can’t move anybody. The bodies are still where they are on the ground,” William Ntladi added. The gas was being used by illegal miners to process gold inside a shack, he said without identifying the type of gas.

The three children killed were aged 1, 6 and 15, police informed. Two people were taken to the hospital for treatment, they said.

Source- Hindustan Times.

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