PRETORIA – The bodies of three boys, two aged 10 and one aged nine, were found in a stormwater trench under construction at Tambo Extension 1 in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, on Saturday afternoon.
“Tshwane emergency service [ESD] responded to the incident just after 5 p.m. Upon arrival at the scene, emergency services personnel discovered the three bodies which were declared dead by paramedics, ”Tshwane ESD spokesperson Charles Mabaso said.
“The bodies were reportedly picked up by passers-by in the stormwater trench which had accumulated water due to heavy rains [Friday] and [Saturday]. “
He said the scene has been turned over to the South African Police Department for a full investigation into how the tragedy happened.
“The town of Tshwane offers its condolences to the bereaved families and to all those affected by the untimely deaths of the young boys,” Mabaso said.
As heavy rains continue to hit South Africa’s capital and different parts of the country, ESD Tshwane recently warned community members to prioritize safety after severe thunderstorms, accompanied by hail, damaged roofs and uprooted trees in parts of Pretoria.
“We call on residents to remain vigilant and to make their safety a priority during this rainy season,” Mabaso said.
Earlier this month, Mabaso said ESD disaster management officials were sent to a house in Soshanguve L Block and Soshanguve Police Station barracks where roofs had been hit by devastating storms.
“Officials delivered relief supplies to the affected family in the form of blankets and plastic sheeting. The department sends a word of thanks to community members who had already helped cover the affected house with a polythene tent, ”he said.
“The family had already made alternative accommodation arrangements for those affected and members assigned to the police barracks were accommodated at the scene.”
He said firefighters had to cut down trees that had been uprooted by the storm to clear the blocked R80 / Bushveld road near the Soshanguve police station and the local trial court.
ESD called on residents to use the toll-free number 107 to report emergency incidents.
– African News Agency (ANA), edited by Jacques Keet