Burnt bodies: Bid to reach relatives

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

As the country celebrated World Tourism Day yesterday, KwaZulu-Natal police were trying to contact families of a Canadian couple who were burnt by a veld fire in Royal Natal National Park.

Police want the families of the couple to come and identify the burnt bodies.

The couple went missing on Thursday last week.

Their charred bodies were found on Wednesday, days after a raging runaway veld fire hit the area.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife said the couple were caught in the fire which swept through the park from across the Tugela River last week.

They said the two seemed to have arrived early at Thendele Camp and decided to go for a walk while waiting to check in.

They walked along the path to Tiger Falls, which lies between Thendele and the Mahai Camp site.

At that time the fire, fanned by strong winds, had just swept across the nearby Tugela River and was heading towards Thendele Camp.

The fire moved rapidly and apparently engulfed the couple who were still walking along the path.

"Ezemvelo Wildlife staff are working closely with the SAPS to confirm the identity of the two visitors and to determine the chain of events that led to the tragedy," said spokesman Jeff Gaisford.

No one else was burnt in the blazing fire, which destroyed the thatched roofs of several Thendele camp units.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife staff struggled for three days to extinguish the flames of the fire that kept flaring up.