Truck catches wires, topples pylon

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Two KwaZulu-Natal high school pupils were killed and two others injured when an electricity pole fell on them in Kwa-Mashu yesterday.

The children were on their way to school when the incident happened. Kwa-Mashu police spokesman Constable Siwe Nxumalo said the incident took place along Kwa-Mashu's Sigwegwe Road at 7.45am.

"A South African Breweries truck was travelling along the road when part of the truck became entangled in electricity lines.

"The electric pole was yanked over and fell down, crushing two of the teenagers who were heading to their school," she said.

The pupils, Sihle Magwaza, 14, and Mfanafuthi Mhlongo, 16, died on the scene. The other two were taken to KwaMashu Poly Clinic with minor injuries, where they were treated and sent home.

Three of the four were pupils from Nhlakanipho High School in D Section, while the other was from Phoenix Technical School. The truck driver was not injured.

A culpable homicide case has been opened.

SAB communications manager, Janine van Stolk confirmed the incident, and said they were working closely with the police to get as much information as possible.

She said it appeared that following bad weather, overhead cables had dipped lower than normal over the road and connected with the top of the truck.

This had the effect of pulling the cables and collapsing a pole. The pole fell on four children, two of whom have been killed and two badly injured.

However, Nxumalo said the electricity lines were not "very low".

Van Stolk said: "We would like to express our sincere condolences to the families concerned. We are working very closely with the SAPS who will release more information as it becomes available," she said.

Ntokozo Maphisa, provincial department of education spokesman said the MEC for education has sent psychologists to affected schools to provide counselling to pupils if needed.

"It seems many pupils saw what happened on their way to school, so we will be sending a team of psychologists to offer counselling. We would like to send our deepest condolences to the families," said Maphisa.