Sculptor seriously injured in crash

2011-04-05 00:00

INTERNATIONALLY renowned KwaZulu-Natal wildlife sculptor Bruce McClunan is in a serious condition in hospital after a hang-gliding accident over the weekend.

McClunan (55) is understood to have suffered critical injuries, multiple broken bones and other serious injuries.

An ER24 report states that McClunan, an experienced hang glider, was taking off from the mountain close to Bulwer when he suddenly experienced problems.

It is believed that the glider hit a mountain face and crashed approximately 800 metres down the slope with McClunan still trapped in the wreckage.

The Witness tried to contact McClunan’s daughter, who was at his bedside at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital trauma unit, but was not successful.

The Witness understands that McClunan landed in a steep, inaccessible area, which made rescue very difficult.

In a statement after the accident on Friday, ER24 spokesperson Vanessa Jackson said the Sani Search Volunteers as well as ER24 paramedics participated in the rescue. ER24’s Derrick Banks said the rescue mission took six hours.

“The man had suffered critical injuries and it is believed that he had fallen at around [5 pm].

“The fact that he was still fully conscious and alert amazed the paramedics as he had multiple broken bones and other serious injuries,” the statement said.

Since an ambulance could not reach McClunan, a military helicopter with personnel trained in rescue missions was dispatched for assistance.

Paramedics said McClunan was fortunate to have been found as had he not, he could have died of hypothermia.

His work has gained international recognition, with many of his sculptures in private and corporate collections in southern Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia and the Middle East. He has sold at the Christies of London Annual Wildlife Art Auction, as well as in many exhibitions throughout southern Africa.

On the South African Artists.com website, one of McClunan’s sculptures is listed at R750 000.

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