The Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) says it will continue to give support and counselling to the families of those who died and were injured following the gas tanker explosion in Boksburg on Christmas Eve.
The blast claimed the lives of at least 37 people – some 12 of whom were healthcare workers at the Tambo Memorial Hospital in the area.
The provincial government said although some families have already opted to bury their loved ones, national and provincial government officials will be deployed to attend the funerals of those who have not in order to “provide support to the affected families”.
“There is ongoing counselling to staff and their families and to the bereaved families offered by clinical psychologists, social workers and chaplains. Where necessary, government, working with organisations such as Gift of the Givers and AVBOB, has assisted with burial arrangements above other social relief measures offered to affected families,” the GPG said.
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi reiterated his and the provincial government’s condolences to those affected.
“We continue to stand with the many families whose lives have been changed forever by the tragic incident. This has not been an easy period, particularly for those who lost their loved ones.
“We implore our health professionals to provide the best care to those who are still on the road to recovery,” Lesufi said.
According to the provincial government, at least 23 other officials at the hospital suffered injuries with many other emergency personnel also affected.
“Majority of the staff have been treated and discharged. Eight Ekurhuleni Emergency Medical Services personnel were injured during the explosion. Six have been discharged while two have since been downgraded from intensive care to normal wards and are recovering well.
“There are still several people in various hospitals and the health department continues to monitor their situation,” the provincial government said.
The GPG added that services at the Antenatal Clinic, the Operating Theatre, the Outpatient Department and Maternity Services have resumed and repairs continue to other areas.
“Areas still affected include the accident and emergency unit, radiology and clinical departments including maternity services for high risk patients.
“Contractors remain on site to work on the affected sections of the hospital with the aim to restore services as quickly as possible,” the provincial government said.