Electricity blast rocks Alexandra

Mbali Mbatha

More than 15 houses in Block 19, Alexandra, Johannesburg, are without electricity after a power supply box exploded early yesterday and caused major panic and commotion among residents.

Concerned that a house was on fire, the neighbours informed the fire department and paramedics.

Though the flames and smoke seemed fierce, the fire lasted for about 20 minutes. It had already subsided by the time the fire fighters arrived.

Ironically, the technical team had been checking for illegal connections in the area the previous day.

But the box in Petrus Nkosi's house was neglected.

Nkosi says he was told that it was unnecessary for his box to be checked.

"They told me that they knew from previous checks that the box was free of any illegal connections. They said there was no need to check it."

Nkosi says the power supply box has not given him problems in 12 years.

The extent of the damage is still unknown as City Power's technical team has yet to visit the scene.

Frans Matiketsa of City Power says they cannot at this point say how long the black out is going to last in the affected houses.

There were no casualties and Nkosi's house was unharmed.