The parents of a small boy were severely traumatised after their little boy apparently fell into a drain and died in Cape Town's Blackheath on Friday, the local ward councillor said.
"It was quite traumatic," said Roelof Mare who had been at the scene of the tragedy.
He said police would provide a better understanding of what exactly happened, but he understood that the little boy and his father were walking in Dennemere, and the little boy ran ahead.
"He fell into a drain and his father tried to get him out," said Mare, based on what he was told.
He said emergency workers entered the sewer line system to rescue the boy but the toddler did not make it out alive.
"Unfortunately he lost his life," said Mare.
The boy was 2 years old.
He said that his first thoughts were that the manhole cover had been stolen, but it was still on the drain, so the circumstances were not completely clear yet on what happened. He added that it may have been difficult to see the cover.
As a ward councillor he was particularly perturbed, and would ask that drainage systems are checked to prevent future incidents.
Mare said he would rather not release the parents' identity at present out of sensitivity towards them.
Cape Town police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut said: "The circumstances surrounding the death of a 2-year-old boy are being investigated after he fell into a drain behind Blackheath Primary School in Blackheath yesterday afternoon.
"A death inquest case docket has been registered."
On Tuesday afternoon the body of a 22-month-old boy was discovered in a drain in Melton Rose, Cape Town.
Police at the scene confirmed that children had been playing in the street when something rolled into the drain. When they looked closer, they saw a body and a large number of flies.