Oribi fire melted pylon chopper’s cables

2015-07-15 09:43
An Eskom Helicopter was damaged during the runaway veld fire at Oribi Airport on Sunday.

An Eskom Helicopter was damaged during the runaway veld fire at Oribi Airport on Sunday. (Facebook)

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THE veld fire at Pietermaritzburg’s Oribi Airport on Sunday left what is believed to be an Eskom helicopter with damage to its cables.

The fire, believed to have begun in Murray Road in Oribi, quickly made its way to the airport, driven by wind reaching speeds of over 20 knots.

Oribi Airport manager Alvin Naidoo said the wind speed was at seven knots when the fire started in Murray Road.

The blaze gathered momentum and ferocity as the wind picked up, quickly spreading to the airports grounds.

“The fire partially melted the cables underneath the helicopter, but it was not engulfed by the flames. The fire was controlled before the helicopter could catch alight. The fire department responded immediately and did their best under the circumstances,” said Naidoo.

He said he believed the helicopter belonged to Eskom and was often parked on the airport’s grounds before flying out to check on electricity cables in the surrounding area.

An Eskom official, who asked not to be named, said Eskom did not own any helicopters and hired aircraft when they were needed.

The official could not confirm yesterday that the helicopter was being used by Eskom, adding that the matter would be investigated.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  airport  |  fire

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