Toxic gas leak in illegal gold mine kills 16 in South Africa

Toxic gas leak in illegal gold mine kills 16 in South Africa

According to local officials, a suspected nitrate oxide gas leak in South Africa has resulted in the deaths of 16 persons.

The victims, who included women and children, passed away as a result of gas ingestion at an informal community in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg.

The Wednesday leak has been linked to illegal gold mining in the area.

Nitrate oxide gas is often used by illicit gold miners, known locally as zama zamas, to extract gold from soil stolen from abandoned mine shafts.

Police said the three children killed were ages 1, 6 and 15. Two people were taken to the hospital for treatment.

This tragedy comes just six months after a gas tanker explosion on Christmas Eve in the same town killed 41 people.

Thousands of illegal miners, known as “zama zamas” work in the country and violent clashes between rival groups of workers are commonplace, reports say.

South Africa is one of the most violent countries in the world.

The Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) in its newly released Global Peace Index (GPI) for 2023, shows that South Africa is less peaceful than a year earlier, having dropped eight places in the rankings.

South Africa is also currently ranked 20th worst country in the world in terms of safety and security.

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