Crowds swoop in to grab beer when truck loses load

2019-07-23 15:22
People make off with packs of Castle Milk Stout after a truck pulled over because some stock had toppled out.

People make off with packs of Castle Milk Stout after a truck pulled over because some stock had toppled out. (Moeketsi Mamane)

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A truck carrying cans of Castle Milk Stout was looted after some stock toppled out the back on the N3 near Townhill on Monday afternoon. 

Witnesses said dozens of people effectively closed the N3 northbound carriageway to grab six packs which were stacked up on the side of the road when the driver pulled off after noticing some stock had spilt from his load.

Litres of sticky, slippery beer ran down the N3.

The truck was travelling from Prospecton to Johannesburg.

Hundreds of smashed-up cans littered the roadside as workers tried to salvage as much as they could. Private security guards had to be called in to usher people away from the scene.

Police and traffic officers had closed off part of the left lane, causing a traffic backlog.

Members of the public could be seen helping themselves to six packs of beer and then racing off with them.

One witness said: “The cans were stacked neatly at the side of the road after the driver pulled up, but then so many guys came running from all over to take beer. Some even came from the other side of the N3.

“They left this place in a real state. It wasn’t all untidy like this.”

The smell of beer hung heavily in the area around the spill site.

A truck carrying Castle Milk Stout was looted on the N3 near Townhill on Monday. PHOTO: Moeketsi Mamane

The driver declined to speak to The Witness. A number on the South African Breweries website, which deals with media queries, just rang late in Monday afternoon.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese confirmed the incident and said no one had been arrested. He warned members of the public against looting, saying they could be arrested for it. “If there is an accident and property is lying on the ground and people help themselves, that amounts to theft or looting and it is not allowed. It is private property.

“People can also put themselves in danger as there may be a secondary accident as a result of their behaviour.”


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  looting
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