Woman dies, 15 injured after vehicle is caught in KZN wildfire

2017-08-22 22:49
The remains of the minibus which was set alight by a wildfire in Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal, on Tuesday afternoon. (Supplied)

The remains of the minibus which was set alight by a wildfire in Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal, on Tuesday afternoon. (Supplied)

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Durban – A woman died and 15 people, including a 15-month-old baby, were injured when their minibus was caught in a wildfire near Vryheid on Tuesday, KwaZulu-Natal paramedics said.

The woman apparently sustained fatal injuries while trying to get out of the burning minibus in the Stillwater area, KZN Private Ambulance spokesperson Belinda Catchpole told News24.

Three people sustained up to 100% burn wounds and were taken to Durban hospitals. The minibus was burnt out.

The baby suffered smoke inhalation and was taken to Vryheid hospital with 11 other occupants of the taxi.

Catchpole said the wildfire destroyed property in Stillwater. It was unclear when the fire started.

The Vryheid Herald reported that wind speeds up to 58km/h were recorded in the area on Tuesday afternoon.

Catchpole said 600 children from a local agriculture school had to be evacuated, but the school’s property was not damaged. Two farmworkers were believed to have been injured while fighting the blaze.

Working on Fire (WoF) and AbaQulusi municipality firefighters were sent to help combat the blaze. Both WoF and the municipality could not be reached for comment.

In a separate incident on Tuesday afternoon, four people died and four were seriously injured when a minibus and a bus collided near Newcastle.

KwaZulu-Natal emergency medical services spokesperson Robert Mckenzie said the cause of the accident was not known.

Read more on:    durban  |  fires

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