Boy killed in freak tombstone accident

2012-02-16 15:39
Cape Town - A 4-year-old boy has died in a freak accident at a graveyard in Cape Town after a tombstone fell on him.

The incident occurred on Sunday at the Maitland Cemetery when the boy was visiting a gravesite with his family. The family were putting flowers on the grave when the accident happened.

The tombstone was about one-meter high, according to a witness. He was apparently still conscious after the headstone fell on him, but when it was lifted he lost consciousness.

It is not clear whose grave the boy was on or how the tombstone fell on him.

The child was rushed to Tygerberg Hospital but died soon after arriving due to the chest trauma he suffered.

According to the City of Cape Town’s George Frost, there have never been deaths of this nature at any of Cape Town’s graveyards before.

“I’ve been working here [at the graveyards] since 2005 and this is the first time I’ve ever heard of this [kind of accident],” Frost told News24.

He said that his supervisor who had been working with Cape Town’s cemeteries for “donkey’s years” had also never heard of an incident of this nature.

Frost said that people are responsible for the maintenance of their loved ones’ graves and headstones but the graves of people who died two generations ago are usually not visited anymore, resulting in their decay.  

He also said that Maitland Cemetery is the oldest in Cape Town and many of the graves are more than 100 years old. He said he had asked the city to put money aside to upgrade Cape Town’s graveyards.

Police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk confirmed that an inquest docket was opened and police are investigating the boy’s death.

The little boy is set to be buried on Friday. The family requested that his name not be published.

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Read more on:    cape town  |  accidents

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