Mother, I'm already dead - deaf teen's SMS

By Drum Digital
28 August 2015

The teenager had sent her mother two SMSes around the time the fire started on Monday at the North West School for the Deaf in Leeudoringstad.

"Mother, I'm already dead," a schoolgirl told her mother via SMS moments before she and two other schoolgirls were engulfed by flames at the North West School for the Deaf in Leeudoringstad.

North West education portfolio committee chairperson Boitumelo Moiloa told News24 on Friday the teenager had sent her mother two SMSes around the time the fire started on Monday.

“Mom, there is a lot of smoke in the area. I don't know, we don't know what is happening but myself and my friend have run to the toilet. There's not a lot of smoke here. I don't know what is going to happen. What if I die?" Moiloa said the first SMS had read.

In the second SMS the teen wrote: "Mother I'm already dead."

The teen’s mother could not be reached by News24 for comment.

The three schoolgirls, aged 16, 17, and 18, died in the blaze and another 23 pupils were injured when they jumped from the first floor of the building to escape the fire.

The fire broke out around 01:00 at the school's girls' hostel.

The cause of the fire is not known and is being investigated.

Demands for a detailed report

Moiloa said following the fire, the committee visited the school on Tuesday and urgently requested education MEC Wendy Matsemela to brief the committee on Thursday.

"She [Matsemela] indicated that there is an evacuation plan, there are house mothers and all those things. Then we said as a committee: 'You know what MEC, because this is just a brief report and we were there give us a detailed report'," Moiloa said.

The committee is expecting the report next Monday. On Tuesday the MEC will sit before the committee and go through the report. Following that, the committee will determine the next step.

"For now, we still have the view that there was no evacuation plan and security and all these house mothers," she said.

Moiloa described the fire as "horrible" and saddening.

A similar incident occurred at the Christiana School for the Blind in November 2010 when four boys died in a fire.

Source: News24

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