Cleaners’ glass trauma

2008-05-03 00:00

TWO men were severely injured — one of them had a leg partially amputated — while clearing broken plate glass from a burnt-out truck trailer on the N3 southbound in Pietermaritzburg yesterday afternoon.

The victims of the horrible accident were part of a city cleaning company crew. They were busy removing broken plates of glass from a truck trailer that had caught fire yesterday at about 7 am.

The large plates of glass collapsed on top of them, causing severe injuries to lower parts of their bodies. The leg of one man was hanging off. It was first feared that both had a leg amputated by the glass. However, Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha said one had a partial amputation on the right leg, while another received bad cuts.

They are both in critical condition at St Anne’s Hospital. Botha said the leg can still be reattached.

It took Netcare 911 about 45 minutes to rescue the victims from the pile of glass they were trapped under.

Both men, who were on the trailer removing broken glass into a skip alongside the truck, were pushed into the skip when the sheets of glass collapsed. Their legs were pinned under the sliding glass on the truck, while their torsos fell into the skip.

Paramedics injected them with painkillers and put them on drips while they were still inside the container.

The southbound N3 had to be closed for more than two hours, while traffic was diverted into the city centre.

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