1 February 2019

South Africa: Parents Pray At Vanderbijlpark School After Three Pupils Die in Structural Collapse

Photo: SABC Digital News/YouTube
The scene at Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark after a walkway collapsed.

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.

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.

"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.

News24

More on This

'Their Screams Are Still Lingering in My Mind' - Witness to Hoërskool Driehoek Tragedy

An employee at Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark, said she was tormented by the images of the falling concrete… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: News24Wire

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.