Fires rip through northern KZN

Fires rip through northern KZN

31 August 2008

published by

South Africa — As many as 15 people may have been killed by out of control fires that raged through various areas in northern KwaZulu-Natal, authorities said.

Police spokeswoman Director Phindile Radebe said she could confirm the deaths of two people – an 85-year-old man and his 58-year-old wife in the Madesheni area near Nkandla.

She could not confirm any more deaths, but was awaiting feedback from officers in the area.

The provincial EMRS ambulance service has reported more deaths – possibly as many as 15 people.

Sapa has learnt that EMRS were sending their forensic experts to the Madesheni area.

A police source in the area, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the veld fire which claimed the lives of the husband and wife had started early in the morning.

He said the fire was still burning out of control. He could not confirm any further casualties.

A further four fires are blazing in the Dubuni and Makasaneni areas near Melmoth. Local officials have also reported that these fires are out of control.

At least five houses in Dubuni are reported to have gone up in flames.

On Saturday night the region’s only firefighting plane crashed near Babanango shortly after take-off, killing the pilot.

A local protection service officer in the Melmoth area, who spoke to Sapa on condition of anonymity, said: “Its just smoke averywhere. It’s chaotic. The fires are totally out of control.”

He said he believed the fact that the firefighting plane had crashed and was no longer able to waterbomb the fires had led to the situation.

At the time of the plane crash last night, it could not be confirmed whether the plane was involved in firefighting duties.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien