Pietermaritzburg - A three-year-old girl died on Tuesday and her two cousins aged two and three were seriously injured when a heavy duty grader crashed into their home in Snathing, Pietermaritzburg.
It was suspected the grader, driven by a 71-year-old man, had mechanical problems which caused him to lose control as he went up Ximba Road, said police spokeswoman Joey Jeevan. The accident happened between 7.30am and 8am.
Wandile Ngcobo stood no chance when the massive grader smashed into the room where she was in the bath.
Her father, Sandile Ngcobo, was buried under the rubble with his nieces Anele Mdlalose, two, and Alondwe Mdlalose, three. All three were seriously injured and taken to hospital.
The sisters’ father, Sibongiseni Kunene, was in another room with his girlfriend.
“It was a big noise, as if something hit the wall, and
then I heard the children crying,” he said.
Neighbours who heard the commotion came to investigate and helped free the children and Ngcobo.
Looking at the remains of the house, Kunene said: “I don’t know what I am going to do now.” Most of his belongings were lost.
A neighbouring house was damaged when a wheel from the grader came loose, rolled down an embankment and hit a wall, which collapsed. The owner of the house,
Bongile Mkhize, was dropping her children at school at the time.
Msunduzi municipality spokesman Brian Zuma said the grader belonged to a contractor working on the road for the municipality.
Zuma said an investigation would determine the cause of the accident.
“The matter is in the hands of the police,” he said.
Pietermaritzburg mayor Chris Ndlela, who visited the family, said:
“The fatal incident has left us all devastated. Our deepest condolences to the family, relatives, neighbours and friends.”
A few days ago a dump veered off a side road in Edendale, rolled down a hill and hit two cars before crashing into a house.
Three people were injured by falling debris.
Before that, a sugar-laden truck rolled down a road in Cleland, hit a lamp-post, crashed into a gate, crushed a vehicle and went through the house. No one was injured in the incident.
The driver had left the truck idling while he went to an ATM.