Girl rescued from steel pipe

2016-09-08 06:00
PHOTO: supplied Rob McKenzie comforts the little girl in the pipe.

PHOTO: supplied Rob McKenzie comforts the little girl in the pipe.

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EMERGENCY services rescued an eight-year-old girl, who was trapped in a steel pipe, in St Faiths on Tuesday afternoon.

She was stuck about half way down a vertical 1,5-metre by 40cm wide steel pipe. The pipe was put there to protect a water fixture and has a narrow concrete slab surrounding it, which in turn was surrounded by knee-deep mud in places. It is unknown how the girl climbed into the pipe.

KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongeni Dhlomo praised the to paramedics from the Department of Health’s Emergency Medical Services, Police Search and Rescue officers, the fire department and paramedics from a private ambulance service and rescue company for their efforts.

“What complicated the rescue mission was a jagged piece of steel that was fixed horizontally about half way down in the pipe, her legs were trapped under this piece of metal and the jagged metal, which was digging into her leg, made it difficult to pull her out,” said KZN EMS spokesperson Rob McKenzie.

Rescuers at first tried to remove the piece of steel that was in the pipe by unscrewing the external screws that fixated the metal piece.

“This plan failed as the screws were rusted and couldn’t be unscrewed.”

The rescuers then used cooking oil to make the inside of the pipe slippery.

One rescuer put his hand over the jagged piece of metal while another rescuer managed to reach his hand down the pipe, behind the girl’s back and grab her shoe. They then, with her assistance, managed to manipulate her legs and untangled her out of the pipe.

The child was then carried to an awaiting KZN EMS ambulance where paramedics examined her.

She was found to have sustained only minor injuries, and was in a stable condition.

The girl’s mother was relieved after this ordeal, but was told the girl would need to go to hospital for a further examination and monitoring.

“This type of co-operation involving Emergency Services, police and rescue teams always makes it easier to save lives.

“We thank all the rescuers involved in this rescue operation,” said Dhlomo.

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