Child rescued from hot car
Tom de Wet, Volksblad
Welkom - A 4-year-old girl has been rescued after being stuck for an hour in a car outside a Welkom shopping centre in sweltering heat, thanks to quick-thinking car guards and a paramedic.
The child was in a Volkswagen Polo in the parking area of the Goldfields Mall for over an hour before she was rescued by Netcare 911 paramedic Annali Snoer.
Snoer broke one of the car’s back windows with an oxygen cylinder to reach the child.
Car guards Morné Nagel and Abel Modemoeng heard the car alarm go off at about 14:30 and went to investigate.
They found the child in the car, which had no open windows.
Car 'felt like an oven'
They called the police and an ambulance.
A small window was broken at first, but without the car keys, the doors couldn’t be unlocked.
A wet ambulance sheet and water were passed to the child through the tiny window but her condition was deteriorating fast.
Snoer smashed the bigger window with the oxygen cylinder.
She said when she pushed her hand into the car through the small window to give the child water, it felt as if she was putting her hand in an oven.
The temperature outside was close to 40°C and in the car it was much hotter.
The centre’s security personnel searched for the owner of the car, calling over the intercom system in the shops as well as the adjacent casino three times.
Two young men, who had gone to buy shoes, casually sauntered up to the car at about 16:15 - almost two hours later.
They denied that they had driven the car and said the owner had run off.
Both were arrested on a charge of child neglect.
The child’s mother, Mananna Makole, 23, was called.
When she arrived, she said the two men had let the child ride in the car with them without her permission. The child was stabilised in the ambulance and was out of danger.
Two Welkom gambling addicts who left their 5-month-old baby in a car in front of the same casino on November 15 2008, were reported to the gambling board after the incident and were banned from gambling in any South African casino ever again.
They were also each sentenced to R5 000 or five years in prison, which was conditionally suspended for five years.
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