Parents pray at Vanderbijlpark school after three pupils die in structural collapse

2019-02-01 12:13
Scene of accident at Hoerskool Driehoek. (Supplied: Netcare)

Scene of accident at Hoerskool Driehoek. (Supplied: Netcare)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Shocked parents and teachers gathered on the school grounds of Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark on Friday morning as paramedics worked to try to retrieve the bodies of three pupils who were killed when a walkway collapsed.

At a briefing, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi confirmed that three children had died. He said the deceased included two boys and a girl. Only one of the deceased has been identified. 

LIVE: Department still trying to reach two families - Lesufi #HoërskoolDriehoek

The department is still trying to locate the parents of the other two children so they can notify them. 

A teacher told News24 that the walkway collapsed over children as they returned to class after attending assembly just after 08:00. 

READ: 3 children killed after walkway at a Vanderbijlpark school collapses - Gauteng education department

"Multiple people have sustained injuries, ranging from minor to moderate. At least five people are in a critical condition," Netcare's Shawn Herbst said in a statement. At least 26 pupils were injured. 

Ward councillor Phillip Nothnagel said the walkway connected two buildings. 

"Structural engineers were called to the scene together with building inspectors.

"They assessed the place to ensure that it is safe. We sympathise with the families and we call on them to avail themselves for counselling, including everyone who is affected," he said.

Jacques Pelser told News24 that he dashed to the school after hearing the news of the tragedy.

"I thought my niece, who is a student at the school, was among the injured," he said.

"I am still in shock about what I've seen."

Pelser refused to describe the scene, which was closed off to the media. However, he told News24 that he was grateful that his niece, who is in Grade 10, was safe. 

"My condolences to the families of the deceased. No parent wants to lose their child.

"I don't think I will be able to sleep tonight  I am going to the doctor to obtain pills that will assist me to sleep," he said.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  education  |  accident

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.