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Mall wall crushes 3 to death

By unknown | Feb 04, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Penwell Dlamini

Penwell Dlamini

Three people were crushed to death and two children, including a five-month old baby, were seriously injured when a wall collapsed onto cars in the parking lot of the Carnival Mall near Benoni, Ekurhuleni, on Saturday.

All the victims were inside their vehicles at the time.

A wall next to the car park collapsed, crushing three cars. This followed strong gale force winds and a heavy thunder storm at about 5.30pm.

"Three people - two women and a young boy - were killed instantly while inside their car," said ER24 spokesman Werner Vermaak.

The emergency service had by yesterday not released the names of the dead.

Glenwood Hospital spokesman Sally Walsh said the injured baby boy was released yesterday while the teenage boy was still in a critical condition in the hospital's intensive care unit.

Girly Mabowa of Tsakane, who works at a fried chicken outlet at the mall, saw the accident.

"A strong wind blew for about 15 minutes. It was followed by heavy rains. Then there was a loud bang," said Mabowa.

She said after the explosion, she went outside and saw that a wall had crushed three cars in the mall's parking lot. One of the cars had passengers in it, she said.

"I asked my manager to call an ambulance while I called people to help me remove the bricks on top of the car that had people in it."

She managed to pull the baby out but could not help the others.

"The driver's neck had been squashed by the roof of the car which had been flattened by the wall. One of the passengers in the back seat was crying for help," she said.

Mabowa said the emergency people arrived after about 30minutes. It took about an hour for them to remove the bodies of the dead and the injured from the mangled car.

Carnival Mall's management was unavailable for comment at the time of going to print yesterday.

Ekurhuleni police spokesman Captain Jethro Mtshali said an inquest docket had been opened.


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