Vanderbijlpark tragedy: Pupil's mom seriously injured in accident as she rushed to the school

2019-02-01 16:31
Scene of accident at Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark. (Ntwaagae Seleka, News24)

Scene of accident at Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark. (Ntwaagae Seleka, News24)

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A mother, whose child attends Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark, was seriously injured in an accident on Friday, according to Netwerk24

Sergeant Gertrude Makhale told the publication that Debbie Coetzee ran a red traffic light on the way to the school, after hearing that the walkway at the school had collapsed. 

She is currently in a critical condition in Sebokeng Hospital after sustaining head injuries. 

It's unclear if Coetzee's child died in the tragedy. 

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi confirmed earlier that three children had died, News24 reported. He said the deceased included two boys and a girl. 

"Two of the deceased learners were males and one was a girl. So far, one child has been identified. We are locating families of the two deceased learners to notify them about the tragedy. Two of 23 affected learners were handed over to their parents. The rest were rushed to hospital," he said. 

A teacher told News24 that a concrete slab collapsed on top of children as they returned to class after attending assembly just after 08:00.

An employee at the school, who could not be identified, described events to News24 leading up to the tragedy. 

"I was walking from the kitchen towards the bridge when I saw it collapsing. I heard a loud bang and I thought it was a ceiling board falling over my children. When I went closer, I noticed that it was not a ceiling board, but it was a concrete slab. I quickly turned back and screamed for help," she said.

Twenty-three learners were injured in the accident - five of them seriously. They were all taken to hospital for treatment. 

"It is heartbreaking to see learners and the entire school going through this exercise. We have to pick up our pieces as the department. The department has issued an instruction that no learner should not be attended to in hospital because of a lack of medical aid or funds," Lesufi said.

The school was closed after the tragedy. 

The South African Human Rights Commission is investigating what happened. 

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  education  |  accidents
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