RSA – Couple burn to death in car

Couple burn to death in car

28 July 2007

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Johannesburg – A holidaying Johannesburg couple burnt to death in their car after trying to escape an enormous fire that ripped through a tourist lodge in Mpumalanga, police said on Saturday.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Abie Khoabane said the fire started on Friday evening, in the surrounding veld at Studs Farm outside Machadodorp, and then spread to the lodge.

“Heavy winds caused the fire to travel up to 90km, and literally ripped through the lodge.”

He said the couple tried to escape in their Audi A3 but were caught in the blaze and burnt to death.

“They were burnt beyond recognition,” he said.

About 800 cattle, a number of sheep, four houses, and telephone lines were also engulfed by the flames.

“There were no other injuries reported in the Machadodorp area.”

Working on Fire spokesperson Val Charlton said fires around Graskop and Sabie had destroyed two sawmills and about 15 000 hectares of forestry plantations according to preliminary estimates.

Khoabane said a hotel in Graskop also burnt down but nobody was injured.

Police were still investigating the fires.

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