Boy alone plunges 3 floors

2019-08-01 16:22
A four-year-old boy was seriously injured when he fell head first from the third floor at the Aloe Ridge flats in Westgate on Tuesday afternoon. Circled is the window from which the boy fell.

A four-year-old boy was seriously injured when he fell head first from the third floor at the Aloe Ridge flats in Westgate on Tuesday afternoon. Circled is the window from which the boy fell. (Nompilo Kunene)

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A local woman was traumatised by seeing her neighbour’s four-year-old son fall head first from the window of a third-storey flat at Aloe Ridge in Westgate on Tuesday afternoon.

The boy’s father was later assaulted by furious residents who accused him of having left the child locked inside the home alone.

The neighbour, who asked not to be named, told The Witness that at around 1 pm she saw the boy standing by the open bedroom window and told him to move away from there twice before he fell. The woman also stays on the third floor but in the neighbouring block of flats. “When I was taking out the trash the child shouted, ‘hello auntie’. I greeted him back and then asked him what he was doing by the window.

“He couldn’t answer me, so I told him to move away from the window and I went back into my house.

“I was busy cooking and needed to throw something else in the bin outside. When I came out the second time, the child’s upper body was outside the window, so I shouted at him. I told him to move away from the window because he was going to fall, and he moved.

“When I came out of my flat again, I saw him lying horizontally on the windowsill and I just froze.

“I was scared to shout at him in case I gave him a fright,” she said.

The woman said she ran back and called her husband and another neighbour who ran to the boy’s block of flats to help him. “We thought there may be an adult inside the house perhaps sleeping, so some neighbours were shouting and banging on the door and windows in the front.

“The boy looked stuck and scared. I think he got a fright and then he fell.

“I helplessly watched as he hit the ground head first,” said the distressed woman. She said the child lay still after his fall and he was bleeding from the nose. “He was still conscious when we got to him. He was responding to our questions, but he spoke very softly. It wasn’t a pretty sight. Even grown men were reduced to tears,” she said.

ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said paramedics found the boy lying next to the building surrounded by people. He said the boy suffered numerous injuries and was in a serious condition.

Another neighbour told The Witness that they had initially struggled to get the father’s contact number to inform him about the incident. “Even when they got the number, he first didn’t answer the calls. He only got to the scene about 30 minutes after the incident.

“When he got here the neighbours were fuming because apparently he always locked the child inside the house and left him there alone.

“Some people were saying he once locked the boy inside his black Polo Vivo parked here outside the flats.”

The neighbour said a small group of residents started assaulting the father, but he was quickly rescued by other bystanders and paramedics who were at the scene busy attending to the child.

The father left in the ambulance with his son. He has not been seen at the flats since the incident. The man was not admitted to hospital but his son remains in hospital. When The Witness went to the hospital on Wednesday, the father could not be located.

Residents of the flats said the mother does not live at Aloe Ridge, but could not give any further details.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said no case relating to the incident had been opened with the SAPS by Wednesday afternoon.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  child falls from building

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