At least half of Eastern Cape's Woodridge College burnt down

2017-06-10 21:25
Woodridge School. (Supplied)

Woodridge School. (Supplied)

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Port Elizabeth - At least half of Woodridge College in the Eastern Cape has been burnt down, with the fire not under control yet, Nelson Mandela Bay's municpal spokesperson has said.

"Fire fanned by strong winds has led to burning down of 50% of Woodridge College," city spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki said late on Saturday.

"Reception hall, main hall, some of the hostels, school church, junior classrooms, music school and some teacher residences have burnt down."

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Fire and Emergency team were trying to save the remaining buildings.

The N2 has been opened for now, Mniki said. Motorists are warned to obey instructions from the traffic officers in the affected areas.

Mniki said fires continue in the Rocklands area, but are under control. There has been slight relief after the wind speed decreased.

"Electricity distribution in a number of areas close to the burning areas has been cut due to damages on cables and electricity infrastructure," Mniki added. 

Water tankers needed

The fire has also affected electricity distribution to some of the municipality's water pump-stations. Residents were requested to drastically decrease their water consumption.

Firefighters have urgently appealed that companies or individuals with water tankers urgently donate their services.

"Fire Engines are running out of water and cannot refill from the hydrants due to electricity outages.

"We only have around 30 minutes of water left. We cannot collect water from swimming pools or boreholes."

It should be taken to the entrance of Woodridge College School.

Anyone who can assist can contact joint operations coordinator Mr Bently on 082 520 5165.


Call for aid: Those with access to water tankers in the picture above have been asked to assist firefighting efforts at Woodridge College. (Supplied)

One dead

Mniki thanked the support and assistance it has gotten in the Van Stadens Gorge and surrounding areas.

Police confirmed on Saturday that one person, a 72-year-old woman, died in the Thornhill area following the fires that spread from the Humansdorp to Port Elizabeth areas.

Rumours of potential arson have not been confirmed.

On Thursday, Walmer police took a statement from a person who allegedly saw two people set up fires in bushes in the Sardinia Bay locality.

No suspects have been arrested and the matter will be investigated, Colonel Priscilla Naidu said.

The Eastern Cape fires are separate from the blaze ravaging the Knysna area in the Western Cape, which is between roughly 230km away.

WATCH:


(Supplied)

Read more on:    george  |  fires

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