Boy killed in freak tombstone accident

2012-02-16 15:39

Cape Town - A 4-year-old boy has died in a freak accident at a graveyard in Cape Town after a tombstone fell on him.

The incident occurred on Sunday at the Maitland Cemetery when the boy was visiting a gravesite with his family. The family were putting flowers on the grave when the accident happened.

The tombstone was about one-meter high, according to a witness. He was apparently still conscious after the headstone fell on him, but when it was lifted he lost consciousness.

It is not clear whose grave the boy was on or how the tombstone fell on him.

The child was rushed to Tygerberg Hospital but died soon after arriving due to the chest trauma he suffered.

According to the City of Cape Town’s George Frost, there have never been deaths of this nature at any of Cape Town’s graveyards before.

“I’ve been working here [at the graveyards] since 2005 and this is the first time I’ve ever heard of this [kind of accident],” Frost told News24.

He said that his supervisor who had been working with Cape Town’s cemeteries for “donkey’s years” had also never heard of an incident of this nature.

Frost said that people are responsible for the maintenance of their loved ones’ graves and headstones but the graves of people who died two generations ago are usually not visited anymore, resulting in their decay.  

He also said that Maitland Cemetery is the oldest in Cape Town and many of the graves are more than 100 years old. He said he had asked the city to put money aside to upgrade Cape Town’s graveyards.

Police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk confirmed that an inquest docket was opened and police are investigating the boy’s death.

The little boy is set to be buried on Friday. The family requested that his name not be published.

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  • Jason - 2012-02-16 15:43

    RIP little one!

  • Grimett - 2012-02-16 15:51

    That is just terrible,condolences to the family.

  • Olivia - 2012-02-16 15:52

    How freaky weird is that??? gives me goosebumps right now. Poor child.

  • Mlungisi - 2012-02-16 16:03

    Paranormal activity

  • Sharon - 2012-02-16 16:09

    Condolences to the family, it is a sad loss.

  • JJ - 2012-02-16 16:44

    Damn, life can be incredibly harsh and unpredictable. RIP little guy

  • Italy.FYI.L - 2012-02-16 16:47

    One coroner says to another: "Well our job is done."

  • Richard - 2012-02-16 16:50

    Yes it is freak accidents like these that make me fear for the lives of my kids every day. It sometimes takes so little to cause such a tragedy. My condolences to the parents and family.

  • Ndivhuho - 2012-02-16 16:59


  • Beveley - 2012-02-16 17:45

    Parents should watch their kids,some kids collect the decorative stones from the graves and throw them at each other.They also enjoy vandalising the graves,I think whoever was buried there was only protesting from beyond..

      Mkatshane Masixole - 2014-02-13 16:40

      You simply talking nonsense. To what extent can a parent fully watch their child? Which parent can honestly say that their children have never acquired any injuries due to them "CCTVing" them? I know you wrote this two years ago but still man. Think before you comment. That's someones child you talking about, and children will be children.

  • Angelo Brown - 2012-02-16 18:09

    I am the uncle of the little boy, the tomstone clearly was not securely put to the grave. We as the family needs help who to contact and what the steps involved. As this is a fresh grave the person died in 2010 who do we direct our questions?

      Xania Reed - 2014-02-13 10:46

      My condolences to the Brown family RiP little angel my heart go out to this child coz my baby boy is also at the age of 4

  • Phethile ReRe Mkhawane - 2013-08-28 12:10

    Shame man

  • Angelo Brown - 2014-02-13 09:59

    No compensation has been made regarding this matter

      Romeo Langenhoven - 2014-02-13 11:12

      Sad to hear my friend

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