Durban hostage survivor stable

2012-04-28 11:02

A woman who was held hostage for four hours by a former patient at Westville Hospital in Durban is in a stable condition.

“She is stable but quite traumatised and emotional,” hospital spokeswoman Leanne Nyiri said today.

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 yesterday was a former patient at the hospital two weeks ago. It is believed he suffered from a bipolar disorder. “The motive is not clear at this stage,” said Nyiri.

The KwaZulu-Natal health department was due to visit the hospital today. The 30-year-old gunman hijacked a taxi in Mariannhill yesterday morning and forced the driver to take him to the hospital, police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said at the time.

He walked into the hospital at 7.40am 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 sent to the hospital. When negotiations with the man failed, the police moved in and shot him dead.

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