Car inferno mystery
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by Noelene Barbeau
Durban - A Chatsworth couple who had stopped on the South Coast to do a spot of fishing before visiting relatives, died when their car exploded at the weekend.
Park Rynie residents tried to come to the aid of Aroomagum (George) and Kistamah (Baby) Moodley, but the flames that had engulfed their Hyundai i10 made it impossible.
The couple, aged 70 and 68 respectively, had left their home early on Saturday, planning to spend the night in Sezela with their son-in-law, Logan Pillay, he told the Daily News on Sunday.
“My father-in-law was an avid fisherman. They planned on spending the day at the beach fishing before visiting relatives nearby and then heading to Sezela. Our family is devastated. They were such a loving couple who went everywhere together,” he said.
They had been married for 48 years and were both originally from the South Coast. They had met in Chatsworth and later moved to the suburb. They have three daughters and a son and nine grandchildren.
“They were very family-oriented. We’re a very close knit family,” Pillay said.
The couple’s funeral was expected to be held on Tuesday at the Mobeni Heights Crematorium at 11.30am, but their bodies would first lie in state at the couple’s home in Golden Poppie Crescent.
When asked if there had been a fault with the car, Pillay said he did not believe so, as it was fairly new – two to three years old.
The family was called to the scene and had learnt that people had tried to save the couple, but the flames were too fierce.
Police spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane, said a Park Rynie resident was at his home overlooking the beach parking area when he heard an explosion.
“Accompanied by a friend, he raced to the parking lot and saw thick smoke emanating from a Hyundai i10 that was on fire.
“It was difficult to see if there were any occupants in the car and both men began pelting the windows with bricks but the intense heat of the blaze forced them to retreat,” Zwane said.
The uMdoni Fire fighters arrived at the scene and extinguished the blaze, but by then the car was completely burnt out.
The couple’s bodies were found in the car, with one of them in the driver’s seat and the other in the back seat, because fishing rods had been put in through the window with the ends on the front passenger side.
Zwane said the car was impounded by police for investigations.
The cause of the fire was yet to be established.
“The case is being investigated by the Scottburgh SAPS Detective Service,” Zwane said.