Woman employee killed in goods lift tragedy

2013-06-20 00:00

A MERRIVALE SuperSpar employee was killed when she stepped into a goods lift that was under maintenance at the store yesterday afternoon.

It is believed that the 21-year-old was not aware that the lift was being repaired.

Police spokesperson Captain Lolly Moodley told The Witness that a maintenance man started working on the lift sometime yesterday morning.

“At around 2 pm, he had not yet completed the repairs when he left the store to get spares from elsewhere.” Moodley said that the lift was on the ground floor at the time.

“While he was gone, an employee who was unaware that the lift was under maintenance loaded goods into it at 2.50 pm and was about to enter.”

It is alleged that as she was entering, the cable holding the lift snapped, hit her on the head and dragged her inside as it went crashing down to the basement floor. The young woman was killed instantly.

When The Witness arrived just after 6 pm, morgue officials were removing her body from the lift while the store’s owners looked on in shock. The Spar, which normally closes at 7 pm, was closed and the employees had been sent home.

“We closed the store immediately and a lot of people here are traumatised,” said one of the devastated owners, Nelson Parau.

“Our thoughts go to the family. She was probably the nicest person in the store and this happens to her.”

Parau said they would arrange counselling for employees who witnessed the incident.

On whether there had been a sign warning staff that the lift was under maintenance, Moodley said that was under investigation.

Parau said the maintenance man was aware of the incident and had returned after it happened.

A case of culpable homicide was being investigated.

“Once it has been investigated, we’ll determine who to charge,” he said. The woman could not be named until she had been formally indentified.

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