Lucky escape for family after pylon crashes down on house

2015-11-01 15:06

Cape Town - The occupants of a Sunningdale home in Table View, onto which an Eskom pylon collapsed in stormy weather on Sunday, had a lucky escape after they made a last-minute decision to sleep over elsewhere, the area’s neighbourhood watch said.

However, their cat has apparently gone missing in the aftermath of the accident in Cherry Hills when the 132 KV power line blew over, with the tower crashing into their roof and “ripping it apart,” said Table View neighbour watch executive committee member Garth Bruwer.
He said the couple who lived in the house “were in Darling at the time and they decided to sleep over and not come home”.
Bruwer said that there had been dogs and the cat in the house at the time.  While the dogs were rescued, the cat had not yet been found.
A car was also trapped in the area between wires going across its front and back. Its bumper had also come off.  However, the occupant had escaped and was safe.
He said that although the wires were no longer live, it was a huge procedure to get cranes to lift the tower back up and remove all the cables.  There was no power in the area. Disaster officials were on the scene.

(Supplied, News24 User)

Significant damage
The damage to the home was significant and alternative accommodation was being arranged for the couple whom, on early Sunday afternoon, were on their way home.
Meanwhile, Eskom provincial spokesperson Jolene Henn, confirmed the incident was being caused by the “adverse weather".
“Construction teams are on site, assessing situation before they can start with repair work."
She said that an accident on this scale was unprecedented, and the company would be investigating how it happened.
“[Previously] we might find a line snapping on transformers, but not with such a huge structure”.
Henn said that 36 000 customers were affected by the collapse, but power supply had been re-routed to another point – and as such power had returned within six minutes.  She said that if any households were not yet back on the grid, they should log a call, as there might be individual faults at play.
"Nobody was injured but the tower did damage a residential property. Eskom has made contact with the family and assisting them on the claims process to follow."

(Supplied, News24 User)

Meanwhile, earlier on Sunday morning, two people died in two separate accidents also caused by the inclement weather in the city.
In the first incident, a woman died and another 11 were injured in an accident involving a taxi in Mitchell’s Plain, community safety mayoral committee member JP Smith said.
Two women had to be freed from the taxi. 
He said a man in his 30s died in a separate accident on Sunday morning, after a head-on-collision occurred at the intersection of the N2 and Baden Powell Drive.
In a further incident, a traffic officer was recovering in hospital after a woman crashed into his vehicle on the N1 near the Ratanga Junction amusement park, due to the wet weather conditions.
“A female driver lost control of her vehicle, skidded on the water and crashed into him.”

(Supplied, News24 User)

Stormy weather
Cape Town is currently experiencing stormy weather conditions with high winds and rain.  Much of the rest of the country, however, is undergoing dry and hot conditions – with reported drought in other parts of the Western Cape, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, North West and the Free State.
On Sunday, Cape Town weather office forecaster Carlton Fillis said the rainy conditions in the city were expected to ease off.
He said that some lightning and rain might however still persists in areas like the Overberg and the extreme south west parts of the Cape winelands area, such as Paarl and Swellendam.
Fillis said the stormy weather conditions had been brought on by the strong winds of a black south-easter in the southern parts of the country: “Bringing with it a lot of moisture – and with the upper air being very cold - you will have unstable conditions”.
Cape Town’s weather has been in stark contrast with many other provinces that are currently experiencing dry and hot conditions.
However, SA Weather Service forecaster Christina Thaele said that the temperature in Gauteng would cool down in the week.  Nevertheless, the chance for rain would remain low throughout.
Recently, there has been reported drought in other parts of the Western Cape, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, North West and the Free State – as well as the risk of fire in the Karoo and Northern Cape.
Last week, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research's Dr Francois Engelbrecht told News24 that 2015 was going to be the warmest year ever in terms of the global record.
He said this global increase in temperature was caused by global warming and the El Nino phenomenon. 
El Nino is the warming of the Pacific Ocean from its normal temperatures, which often result in severe weather conditions. 

Read more on:    cape town  |  accidents

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