Brazier smoke kills children and minder in Oribi

2009-07-27 00:00

AN ORIBI Village family are in mourning after the death of two small children and their child minder who are believed to have died from smoke inhalation while trying to keep warm on Friday evening.

The Ngubo family were still too devastated to talk when The Witness visited the scene of the tragedy at their home in Boreas Road yesterday.

According to a police report, the children’s father had lit a fire in a brazier which he brought into the house at around 6 pm.

The family sat around the fire together to keep warm until 9 pm, when they all decided it was time for bed.

However, Bongiwe Duma (32), the family’s domestic helper, took the brazier into her bedroom, which is also in the main house.

Khwezi aged eight and his sister Nandi (6), who usually slept in their own bedrooms, opted to say warm and went to sleep with Duma.

When their mother awoke to check on them during the night, however, she found both children and Duma unconscious.

All three were rushed to hospital but they died a short while later.

Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said the cause of death is likely to be related to smoke inhalation.

Autopsies will be held to determine the exact cause of death, Budhram added.

Bisley Primary principal Brian Killeen described the incident as a tragedy and a double blow after receiving news of the death of a Pelham Primary school teacher, Marian Maguire, at the weekend.

Killeen and his wife and Khwezi’s class teacher visited the Ngubo family to offer their condolences.

“I heard of Khwezi’s passing last night and it is such a tragedy that such little people would die because of the cold.”

Killeen described the little boy as “a lovely child” and a “blessing”.

“He was one of those kids who caused no trouble. The class will be devastated.

“His little sister had come to the school for an interview,” added Killeen.

The school experienced a similar tragedy when it lost a grade 1 pupil, also from Oribi Village, as a result of a drowning accident at the school earlier in the year.

Killeen said a memorial service will be held for Khwezi during the course of the week.

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