Lightning kills again

2011-01-18 00:00

A MOTHER and her young son were killed by lightning in a rondavel in Donnybrook near Bulwer on Sunday afternoon.

Nontobeko Ngubo (22) and her son Songezwa (2 years and 8 months) had been visiting a nearby friend, Philiswa Sokhela (20), when they were killed.

Eight other people were injured and hospitalised. By yesterday four of them had been released.

The latest strike brings the total number of lightning victims in KwaZulu-Natal to 16 since November. It was reported that seven people were killed in Pongola in November, and in January seven others were killed in Mpumazi, Eshowe.

On arrival at the scene yesterday, The Witness found the rondavel still smouldering.

It is suspected that a gas cylinder inside exploded.

Simon Ngubo, the uncle of Nontobeko Ngubo, said he had noticed from his house that a rondavel at the Sokhela household had caught fire and he rushed to help.

At the time he did not know that those who were trapped in the blaze were members of his family.

On arriving, he found that the rondavel had been engulfed in flames.

Eight of the 10 people inside the hut when the lightning struck had been pulled outside.

“I only learned once I was there that among those trapped inside were two members of my family.

“We tried to remove them but the fire was too strong.”

He said when they finally managed to put out the fire,they found the mother and child lying under the rubble.

The thatched roof of the rondavel had collapsed on them.

“Their bodies were burned beyond recognition. We only identified them because they (mother and son) were the only two people who had not come out.”

Ngubo said the incident was all in God’s hands.

“When it is your time to go, that is it …

“Nontobeko did not regularly visit her friends with her son, but on Sunday she took him with.”

Sokhela, one of the survivors, said she did not know how she escaped the lightning.

She said the lightning sounded like a bomb as it went through the window.

“While we were all sitting in the rondavel, it started raining very heavily and it got windy so we decided to lock the door.

“That is when the lightning struck and the next thing the house was on fire.

“I don’t know how I got out, as I passed out. I realised that I almost died.”


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