Neighbours' heroic efforts come to naught as teen burns to death in Port Elizabeth shack blaze

2019-12-17 12:39
EMS workers are seen at the site of an informal settlement during fire. (Felix Dlangamandla, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

EMS workers are seen at the site of an informal settlement during fire. (Felix Dlangamandla, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

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Neighbours' valiant efforts to save a terrified teenager from a burning shack in Port Elizabeth were in vain when she burnt to death in the blaze which swept through Kwazakele in the Eastern Cape just over a week before Christmas.

The 15-year-old girl died in the inferno which broke out in Nkatha Street on Monday at about 13:30, leaving 20 households homeless, police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge said.

"Witnesses heard the screams of Zintle Manganya Zabo, who was trapped in a burning shack. Attempts were made to break open the door but the [flames were high and the] fire was raging and spread quickly to surrounding shacks," Beetge said.

"The girl passed away in the fire and about 20 shacks were destroyed, leaving more than 100 residents without homes and desperate for help. The cause [of] the fire is still unknown."

READ | Three people, including two children, die in shack fire in Strand

An inquest docket has been opened.

Blankets, mattresses and food have been donated to the victims, Beetge said.

Police were co-ordinating relief efforts and appealed for clothing, bedding and more food for the residents.

For details, phone Lieutenant Colonel Peter Norman on 082 457 2868 or visit the New Brighton police station.

- Compiled by Tammy Petersen

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  fires
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