Joyride leaves KZN capital one fire engine short

2012-10-05 00:00

THE Msunduzi Fire Department is one fire engine short after one of its newer, front-line engines was damaged in an unauthorised “joyride” on Wednesday.

The vehicle, which cost around R3 million, had been taken to the city engineer’s department to have two of its tyres changed, Msunduzi spokesperson Brian Zuma told The Witness yesterday. “After the tyres were replaced, one irresponsible official decided to take the vehicle on a joyride and crashed into a pillar,” said Zuma.

Reports that the culprit was allegedly inebriated at the time were being investigated, said Zuma.

He said the fire engine sustained damage estimated at R400 000.

Zuma said the official who crashed the vehicle had absconded, and they had no idea where he was.

“We are investigating the matter. As soon as the investigation is complete, we will issue a statement,” he said. Asked whether being one fire engine down would impact fire fighting in the city, Zuma said: “We are a vehicle short, but we are not disarmed”.

Community services portfolio committee chairperson Manilal Inderjit echoed that the city was not compromised by losing one of its front-line engines. “We are not compromised. It’s not a huge crisis,” he said, before adding that it was going to be a challenge.

He said they were going to “come down very harshly” on the culprit responsible for crashing the vehicle.

“Those are specialised vehicles. These things shouldn’t happen,” he said.

Inderjit added that the first thing they had to do was find the culprit.

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