Paramedics come under attack from angry mob in KwaZulu-Natal

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Ambulance. File Photo.
Ambulance. File Photo.
iStock/Getty Images

Paramedics responding to calls for medical assistance had to flee before they got to the patients when they were attacked by an angry mob at the Lions River informal settlement, near Howick, on Friday night.

This included a crew from St Michael's Ambulance Services that arrived in the area just before midnight only to have to flee and race to the Howick police station for safety.

Operations manager, Charles Newborn, said as the crew approached the patient's house, they came under attack from an angry mob who threw rocks at the ambulance then physically hit the vehicle while trying to get into it.

Once the paramedics escaped the mob they were then pursued by a car from the scene, which had several occupants in it. They drove straight to Howick SAPS for safety with the car chasing them until just before they reached their destination.

Newborn said there were two paramedics in the ambulance when the incident happened. He said they did not know what the motive of the attack was but when they reached the police station they learned that another ambulance that had been in the area 30 minutes prior also had to flee from the same mob.

"The calls were genuine and the crews were responding to two different cases but unfortunately neither of them could get help because of the attacks."

He said the mob hit the car and tried to get in but he was not sure whether they wanted to steal it or take what was inside.

"It was quite a scary thing for the crew because they said the mob came out of nowhere but fortunately they managed to get away," said Newborn.

He said the sad part about the ordeal was that patients were deprived of medical assistance because the paramedics could not get to them.

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