Lesufi shuts down Hoërskool Driehoek following death of pupils

At least three pupils at a Vanderbijlpark school were killed and several injured on Friday when a walkway fell on them.
At least three pupils at a Vanderbijlpark school were killed and several injured on Friday when a walkway fell on them.

Gauteng education MEC has closed Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbiljpark after three pupils died following the collapse of a pathway bridge on Friday morning.

“There wont be schooling until further notice.

Until we get a certificate to allow us to occupy again we do not want to take any risks,” Lesufi told the media after inspecting the school premises. 

Twenty-six other pupils were also affected. Two pupils were checked and released to their parents while others had to be taken to hospitals, some airlifted. Of the deceased, two are boys while the other pupil is a girl all between the ages of 13 and 18.

Lesufi said an instruction has been issued to hospitals to treat all the children whether they have a medical aid or not. “As a department we will stand in and provide that assistance.

Three pupils were killed after a walkway collapsed at Hoerskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark on February 1 2019. About 15 were injured and five of them are in a critical condition. The pupils were returning to class after assembly when the walkway suddenly collapsed.

About 1,060 pupils are enrolled at the 45-year-old Hoërskool Driehoek.

“It is indeed a sad day for us within the education sector. Never did we plan or anticipate that we would have this kind of a disaster hitting us the way it did."

We thank the ambulances, police, local councilors and ordinary members of the public who dropped everything [they were doing] to come to our rescue,” said Lesufi.

The pathway bridge connecting the administration block and the classes collapsed on learners as they were heading back to classes after the morning assembly.

“It is a painful day for the leadership of the school to notify these parents [of the deceased]. [To tell them] that someone they saw this morning happy to come to school [now] have to deal with logistics of death. It was heartbreaking to see our learners in tears; to see the entire school population going through this difficult exercise."

Lesufi said the collapsed pathway bridge was now the subject of an investigation by the relevant authorities.

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