Residents in Roodepoort, on the West Rand, were evacuated from their residential complexes and houses when gas started leaking from a Sasol pipe after a suspect attempted to steal equipment, Roodepoort Northsider reported.
At about 4pm on Sunday, various branches of the Roodepoort CPF received a call on the Roodepoort Sector 3 radio system about a possible leak near Battery Centre on Sonop Street in Horison.
Without delay Horison, Horizon View, Ontdekkers Park South and Tornado block watch members rushed to the scene to verify it.
On Adderley Street, just before the railway, an area that belongs to Sasol had a serious gas leak. Leon Vieira and Greg Hogan of Roodepoort CPF said the thundering noise was heard kilometres away as natural gas was leaking into the area.
The block watch patrollers immediately blocked off traffic at the Sonop and Adderley streets intersection, and also at Albertina Sisulu Road and Nywerheid Street intersection.
Any spark could have set off the gas at any moment and killed everyone in the area, they said. Roodepoort CPF and the various block watches made the decision to evacuate people from the residential complexes and houses close to the leaking gas.
The fire department, metro police and SAPS also arrived at the scene and assisted with crowd control. Staff from Sasol eventually sealed off the pipe after it had been leaking for almost two hours.
After half an hour residents were allowed to return to their homes.
“Hundreds of lives could potentially have been lost if it were not for the brave acts by members of the block watches, CPF, Metro Police, Fire and police. As chairman of Roodepoort CPF I salute you,” said Vieira.
Police say they will provide a statement on the matter as soon as there is information available.
– Caxton News Service