Methane gas possible cause of Joburg explosion: Expert

A chemical engineering expert Dr Rodney Khangale says it is possible that methane gas was being transported through a pipe that could not withstand the pressure that was used.

He was reacting to the City of Johannesburg’s confirmation- that methane gas was the cause of the explosion that recently ripped through Lillian Ngoyi street (formerly known as Bree Street).

City Manager, Floyd Brink told the media on Wednesday, that officials still don’t know what the source of the gas was.

Khangale says methane is a highly combustible gas.

“Methane is basically a fuel, it is combustible, it can even cause a fire. But in the incident which happened in Johannesburg – it was so interesting to see that there was no fire. But of course that can also be influenced by the concentration of that gas. If the concentration is too low, it might not lead to fire,” explains Khangale.

“But then again, the other thing which plays a very critical role, is the pressure at which that gas is being transported at. For one to see an incident similar to what happened in the Bree Street, you would assume that the gas was transported at probably a higher pressure,” adds Khangale.

The video below is the full interview with Dr Rodney Khangale:

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