Woman dies as locked gates keep medics out

2012-07-09 10:50
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Johannesburg - A Johannesburg woman died of a heart attack during a family reunion at a resort in Barkley West, Northern Cape, after paramedics were unable to breach the locked gates, Beeld reported on Monday.

Wendy Mackay, 51, suffered a cardiac arrest around 01:30 on Saturday, after which her family summoned ER24 paramedics.

According to family spokesperson Jenny Mahmud, the gates to the resort, which belongs to the local Sol Plaatje municipality, were locked, and there was no way for paramedics to get in.

"We couldn't find a security guard to open the gates. I called the reservation phone number, but nobody answered," Mahmud said.

The family summoned the police and local fire brigade, but by the time paramedics were able to cut a hole in the fence, Mackay had died.

"We believe her life could have been saved if the gate hadn't been locked," Mahmud said.

Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie said on Sunday the case would be investigated.

"I can't say exactly what happened there. The gate was locked for security reasons ... we would like to express our sympathy to the family."

He was unable to say whether a security guard should have been on duty to control access to the resort.

Read more on:    kimberley  |  health and safety

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