Who's to blame?

The gas tanker explosion in Boksburg on 24 December 2022 left dozens killed and many more injured. Included in the fatalities and injuries were healthcare workers, fire fighters, children and even entire families. As such, South Africans are demanding answers and consequently justice but as initial investigations have proven, there is no simple answer to this tragedy.

The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, conveys condolences from the entire team to all that have lost loved ones. “We also send our thoughts to those who were injured and are struggling with a difficult recovery or whose lives have permanently been changed by this. Scenes from the gas tanker explosion resemble that of a war zone and it is difficult to comprehend the tragedy.

“It is natural that those affected by the explosion want answers. An investigation is underway and it is hoped they will get these answers soon. Yet, preliminary information being released is not what many community members expected.”

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. “Hindsight is of course the best answer and clearly it is easy to say what the driver should have done. Certainly, there is an element of truth in all the comments made, some probably more accurate than others. It is likely the driver took precautions and, certainly, after the truck was lodged under the bridge, he did a great deal to ensure safety precautions were taken.

“That said, there are matters that any responsible organisation can and should take to prevent an incident such as this – with all the technology available it would be safe to assume that this route could have, and should have, been avoided. Certainly, one can reason that with aging infrastructure it is possible that along with other contributing factors, signage was not legible.

Truth be told, there is much that we don’t know. “While conjecture is inevitable, we should wait for the matter to be fully investigated. We can, however, safely assume that given the often low standards of some drivers, every responsible company, and CEO, should ensure that their training of their drivers, both on-road and for transportation of hazardous materials is the very best it can be.

“As for those left in the aftermath of the tragedy, MasterDrive expresses their sincere condolences. There is little that can be said or even done right now to ease the loss or burden of injuries,” says Herbert.