Durban hostage survivor stable

2012-04-28 14:33
Johannesburg - A woman who was held hostage for four hours by a former patient at Westville Hospital in Durban was in a stable condition on Saturday.

"She is stable but quite traumatised and emotional," hospital spokesperson Leanne Nyiri said.

The woman sustained four gunshot wounds - one in her left upper arm, another in her right toe, and two wounds in the right hip area.

Nyiri said the man who took her hostage on Friday was a former patient at the hospital two weeks ago.

It was believed he suffered from bipolar disorder.

"The motive is not clear at this stage," said Nyiri.

Negotiations failed

The KwaZulu-Natal health department was due to visit the hospital on Saturday.

The 30-year-old guman had hijacked a taxi in Mariannhill on Friday morning and forced the driver to take him to the hospital, police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said at the time.

He walked into the hospital at 07:40 demanding to see a doctor or nurse. Naicker said he became impatient and opened fire resulting in panicked hospital staff, patients, and visitors ducking for cover.

Three people - a nurse, a security guard, and a catering staff member - sustained minor injuries from bullet fragments.

The man first took a hospital receptionist hostage but she escaped, Nyiri said at the time.

He then took a second hostage and kept her in the kitchen.

A huge police contingent, including police snipers, were deployed to the hospital.

When negotiations with the man failed, and police moved in and shot him dead.

Business at the hospital later resumed.
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