Boy saves dad from electrocution

2011-01-31 10:22

Pretoria - A Pretoria father has told how his 11-year-old son saved him from certain death on Saturday.

"I am very proud of him. He is my little hero," said André van Loggerenberg, 44, after his son prevented him from being shocked to death.

Van Loggerenberg was busy mowing the lawn at home in Meyerton at about 12:00 on Saturday and Tiaan, a Grade 6 pupil at Dr Verwoerd Primary School, was gathering grass and throwing it into a bag.

"The lawnmower suddenly started giving off sparks and there were flames. I immediately assumed our power had tripped," said Van Loggerenberg.


He decided it was safe to repair the lawnmower so he could mow the rest of the lawn.

"I sat on a steel garden chair while I opened a power plug, which was still connected to the house's power supply.

"It shocked my left hand and I threw away the wire before I fell over backwards with the chair and all," said Van Loggerenberg.

The wire then fell on his stomach.

He was only able to say the word "Tiaan" before his body was repeatedly shocked and he started convulsing.

Tiaan, whose back was turned to his father while he was picking up grass, turned around and immediately burst into tears, as his first reaction was that his father had already been shocked to death.


"I realised moments later that he couldn't be dead yet as his arms and legs were still twitching. I ran to him and forcefully pulled the lawnmower cord," said Tiaan.

Van Loggerenberg said he couldn't say a single thing after his son saved his life. He could only get up from the chair and collapse on the grass.

Tiaan called his mother, Gerda, 44, and older sister, Marlizaan, 12, in the house.

Tiaan couldn't speak either, but they followed him outside where Van Loggerenberg was lying.

Father and son were each given a glass of sugar water for shock. Van Loggerenberg was not taken to hospital.

"I am very happy that my father didn't die," said Tiaan as he gave his father a tight hug on Sunday during a family outing to Sandton City shopping centre.

  • Jo - 2011-01-31 10:49

    Cool for the kid saving his dad... but what kind of a chop works on an electrical line while it's still plugged into a wall socket? Even if you're almost certain that there's no current running through it... But hey, we need case-studies to emphasize the importance of isolation of electrical equipment before working on them and he probably thought that he'd take on for the team.

      Jo - 2011-01-31 10:49

      *take ONE for the team (looks like I'm a bit of a chop with my spelling too)

      Zangetsu - 2011-01-31 11:41

      not only is he a chop for working on a live cable but the metal garden chair just makes it worse

      Jay - 2011-01-31 11:52

      LOL im glad he is ok but seriously DUDE, Darwin award coming to you in the post hahahahahahaha!

      Shino - 2011-01-31 14:25

      Awesome story... but yeah... only thing missing was a large pool of water under the metal chair. Glad the dude is alright :)

  • msngwenya2 - 2011-01-31 10:49

    Tiaan u r a hero

  • CharlSkeptic - 2011-01-31 10:54

    Rule 1 - unplug the cord from the wall socket before attempting repairs. Guess it wasnt his time to visit the pearly gates

  • Telara - 2011-01-31 11:01

    If you're gonna be that stupid and irresponsible when dealing with electricity you'll get what's coming to you...

  • BRONZE - 2011-01-31 11:03

    What a typical man! Thank goodness for the son, or it would be another story. Good boy!

  • roadvark - 2011-01-31 11:05

    Good he survived but the golden rule always is that you regard wires as live and disconnect or switch off at isolator or mains before touching.

  • klopperg - 2011-01-31 11:14

    This almost qualifies for a Darwin award for 2011!

  • DeonL - 2011-01-31 11:18

    Good thinking.

  • MoZaHo - 2011-01-31 11:21

    Well done little guy. Glad to read some good news for a change. Be careful when working with Electricity. Not something to be taken lightly. Glad everyone is ok.

  • bekie - 2011-01-31 11:22

    Well done young man. I expected your father to know better but I was wrong.

  • sean - 2011-01-31 11:25

    Nice story, hope he has learnt his lesson, next time the lawn needs cutting take R100 bucks out your pocket and get someone els to cut the bloody grass.

      Kaleidoscope - 2011-01-31 14:13

      I think the lesson should be, to not work on electrical equipment while the power cord is still connected and on top of it he sits on an object that is an electrical conductor. Sh*t for brains.

      Zion - 2011-01-31 19:40

      Kaleidoscope: All very interesting comments on the electricity issue. Now this guy was sitting on a steel chair while being electrocuted. That means the current was high enough to pass through his body and down to earth. That tells me that the installation was not fitted with an Earth Leakage unit. These units operate instantly when a current measured in milliamps passes through it, causing an electrical unbalance and isolates the supply. By law every domestic and industrial installation shall be fitted with them and tested regularly.

      Great White - 2011-02-01 10:23

      Quite right Zion.

  • Tshifhiwa - 2011-01-31 11:41

    This is not news worthy, to Tiaan you are a hero.

      liana.prinsloo - 2011-01-31 11:59

      News consists both of Hard News ("Rapist escapes from jail") and Soft News ("Another lion cub is born at local zoo")- source- my degree in journalism. So technically this IS news worthy, even though it can't be classified as 'hard news'.

  • Pedro - 2011-01-31 11:42

    Good boy! Idiotic father!

      Vernon - 2011-01-31 14:21

      ditto dude.both could have been fried ,he should about lock-outs.

  • Licikityspit - 2011-01-31 11:43

    Well done Tiaan,what your dad knows about electricity is truly shocking!Good thing you were there.

      robertgunning - 2011-01-31 12:26

      Good one!

      thatcomputerguy3 - 2011-01-31 12:58

      yeah...what ur dad lacks in intelligence, he makes up in stupidity. Glad that all ended well even though it was a SHOCKING experience

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-01-31 11:57

    One sharp lightie, can't say the same for your ballie...Well done boy, & just keep an eye on that father of yours... Funny, hey, doesn't matter who you are "sugar water" is always the answer..

  • wendypeanut - 2011-01-31 12:00

    Well done Tiaan! You are such a brave young man for saving your dad!! God bless!

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-01-31 12:01

    Tiaan, is one sharp lightie..can't say the same about his father..Well done boy, & just keep an eye on that dad of yours... Funny,hey, doesn't matter who you are, we always reach for the "sugar water"..

  • jacques.buckle - 2011-01-31 12:04


  • freddyvdm - 2011-01-31 12:07

    Wow awsome go boy!

  • hemant230778 - 2011-01-31 12:08

    Rule Number 1: Always assume an Electrical Connection to be live until proven otherwise. Lucky the son was around.

      Flee - 2011-01-31 12:28

      Heheheh sorry Hemant.. He was trying to find out if it was live or not hahahaha.. he was proven otherwise he he LMAO ..My bad..

  • Madelane - 2011-01-31 12:09

    Good grief....really...being female and all that I do at least know to unplug/switch off anything if I have to change the plug.....he is extremely fortunate to have his son there and hopefully his kiddie has more brains than he has!!!!

  • jmulryan - 2011-01-31 12:18

    If I was ever stupid enough to work on a live plug, I would rather the story not be made public, due to looking like a complete plonker. The story is news worthy as it would remind others not to do the same !

  • robertgunning - 2011-01-31 12:24

    I'm glad the 11 year old is more competant than his dad. NEVER, EVER open an electrical appliance if you do not know what you are doing. Basic safety precautions are to disconnect the device from the mains before doing anything (even for small things like changing the bag of a vacuum cleaner)

  • Mgayi - 2011-01-31 12:25

    I love happy endings

      Maya - 2011-01-31 12:55

      Jip, If the boy was not switched on the dad would have been switched off

      Mgayi - 2011-01-31 15:21

      The boy is switched on , thanks to his science teacher at Dr Verwoerd Primary schoool.Now let me duck quickly before I get hit with a slur for citing Dr V's name

  • Andy49 - 2011-01-31 12:34

    Well done on your quick thinking Tiaan, you will always be your fathers hero.

  • Nice Guy - 2011-01-31 12:44

    Rule 1 - Hire a gardener from Zim. Firstly they tend to know what to do and if they don't YOU don't get electrocuted

  • Darwinian - 2011-01-31 12:44

    Last Week: Man plays knock-knock with mortar This Week: Man electrocutes garden and himself Next Week: _____________________ Keep them Darwin Awards coming!

      Flee - 2011-01-31 15:43

      Next Week: Malema Chokes on own foot... LMFAO......

  • Tigra - 2011-01-31 12:49

    Definite Darwin at-risk survivor...

  • brokennews - 2011-01-31 12:49

    "The lawnmower suddenly started giving off sparks and there were flames. I immediately assumed our power had tripped," said Van Loggerenberg. That's like saying suddenly the water pipe burst, spewing water everywhere. I immediately assumed the water supply was cut.

      Podgette - 2011-01-31 13:18

      Assume makes an ASS of U and ME. Couldn't believe he did this! Luckily the son had bigger brains than his old man.

      Flee - 2011-01-31 15:44

      Podgette.. yup you got it as they say... Assumption is the mother of all F* Ups.....

  • BigMoose - 2011-01-31 12:51

    Why didn't the earth leakage unit work? He needs a qualified electrician to check it out.

  • Sythe - 2011-01-31 12:57

    Nice one Tiaan...Jy is n regte saved your pa. Maybe your school will give you a Verwoerd medal of bravery. Mooi so!

  • melanieminny - 2011-01-31 12:57

    Well done Tiaan - you are a true hero!!

  • Brandon96end - 2011-01-31 12:58

    Rocket scientist at work here... before you work on electrical stuff, dad, make sure the power supply is off, ne?

  • Bronzeboy - 2011-01-31 13:02

    Maybe this dude should have the entire electrical system checked - an earth leakage device was obviously not functioning, lucky to be alive!!!

  • Bronzeboy - 2011-01-31 13:04

    Maybe this dude should have the whole electrical system checked out - an earth leakage system was obviously not working, lucky to be alive!!!!

  • Shoes&Bags - 2011-01-31 13:05

    So Meyerton is now in Pretoria?

  • Me2also - 2011-01-31 13:07

    Someone who knows this chap needs to tell him to get a qualified electrician to check the distribution board in the house as clearly the earth leakage is not working or faulty, and if not repaired, may result in another story with a different ending!!!

      Zion - 2011-02-01 10:41

      The earth leakage unit is fitted with a test push button and testing it thus does not necessarily mean that the units sensitivity is in order.

  • Maya - 2011-01-31 13:10

    The boy was switched on to get the father switched off!

  • 4daluvofSA - 2011-01-31 13:25

    Idiot! Then he agrees to take his pic for the whole world to see!!

  • DW - 2011-01-31 13:37

    The boy is lucky he didnt get electrocuted as well. Never grab the cable with your bare hands if it is clear that it is shocking someone else. He should have hooked it with a broomstick or something else which would not conduct electricity - but I guess he didnt have time to think about that (or wasnt aware of the danger). Just thought the public should be aware.

      Dana - 2011-01-31 21:15

      I was taught the same thing in primary school. You seem to have been the only person picking that up so far ....

      Picasso - 2011-02-01 08:39

      If the cable is insulated you will not shock, just don't grab the open wire or if the plastic/rubber around the wire seems to be melting.

      jsgroen - 2011-02-01 10:44

      DW, you are spot on with your comment. Picasso, like you said "If the cable is isulate". When cutting grass, there's always a bit of wetness. The boy was lucky, if that cable was a bit wet on the outside, he too would be shocked. Use a dry branch or even a grass rake to scoop the cable away. I reckon they was busy working with a rake.

  • Shistirrer - 2011-01-31 13:40

    The most shocking part (pun intended) of this story is that the dad wasn't taken to hospital. He should have had an immediate brain scan to ascertain whether he actually HAS one. Oh, Pretoria? Around noon on a Saturday? Hmmmmm..... Dude, didn't you know brannas and coke is highly conductive?

      CharlSkeptic - 2011-01-31 14:58

      You have an apt name. "Asshole" may have suited you better, but hey, who am I to judge???

      Shistirrer - 2011-01-31 19:49

      @Septic Charl: I take it you're from Pretoria. Pity the dad wasn't wearing his Blue Bulls helmet, just think of the amazing arc it would have made between the horns (-:

  • Outsie - 2011-01-31 13:49

    He's just stupid. Tiaan prevented natural selection from taking its course.. Maybe not such a great thing!

  • Julius_M - 2011-01-31 14:00

    Double nomination for Darwin Award for having pic taken...

  • Black.dude - 2011-01-31 14:06

    Hey Whites love publicity, there is always this type of stories where a white boy saves his father, dont you have anything better to report on News 24 instead of reporting on a stupid father who was working on a live electricity connection. From grade one I was always taught that disconnect firt before you work on electrical appliances.

      weldon.broughton - 2011-01-31 16:01

      When did you learn to spell

      pointblankza - 2011-01-31 19:55


      Picasso - 2011-02-01 08:43

      So Blackdude, do you prefer the 'black kid's head in the fridge' type of stories?

      Janine - 2011-02-01 09:08

      Oh Lord - back to the race thing. Give it a rest.

  • Kaleidoscope - 2011-01-31 14:15

    This guy is an accident waiting to happen!

  • Kaleidoscope - 2011-01-31 14:17

    It is shocking how dumb this guy is.

  • Markis - 2011-01-31 14:19

    why is this in the news?

      Shino - 2011-01-31 14:36

      We should have more stories like this. Most stories on News24 are just plain outright depressing. Not a lot of good news in South Africa I guess - Well, at least not from News24's perspective.

      CharlSkeptic - 2011-01-31 15:05

      WHy not? One of my friend's father was electrocuted by a lawn mower cable when I was a boy and to this day I think of him when I mow the lawn and take care....if this story saves just 1 life, it was worth it

  • Vernon - 2011-01-31 14:24

    Hey ,can anybody tell me where the father is 'current ly'

      4daluvofSA - 2011-01-31 15:07

      .....recieving his Darwin award at the Gallager Estate.

      Mgayi - 2011-01-31 15:30

      The father is attending science and ABET classes at Dr Verwoerd Primary school

      Kaleidoscope - 2011-01-31 15:35

      He is at an award ceromony for dumbest person alive. And i hear is in contention to win.

  • weldon.broughton - 2011-01-31 15:59

    A shocking experience

  • Linz-e - 2011-01-31 16:20

    They were given sugar water for "SHOCK". LOL - how ironic!