At least 24 people died in an informal settlement located near Johannesburg's Boksburg suburb due to a suspected gas leak, South Africa's state-owned broadcaster SABC reported on Wednesday.
SABC quoted the spokesperson for the disaster and emergency management services in the Ekurhuleni municipality, William Ntladi, who said the leak came from a gas cylinder in one of the yards within the Angelo Squatter camp.
"For now the number (of fatalities) is 24," he said. "Once the scene unfolds throughout the night we will come with exact numbers in terms of fatalities and in terms of the casualties that have been hospitalized," Ntladi said in an interview with SABC television, adding that search and rescue operations were ongoing.
"Whether the illegal miners are among the deceased, that is not yet known," Ntladi added, after local media reports that the incident could have been linked to suspected illegal mining activities.