A group picture of the tour group from Durban that was onboard the bus. Picture: Supplied
A group picture of the tour group from Durban that was onboard the bus. Picture: Supplied

20 Durbanites among those injured in Egypt bomb blast

By ZAINUL DAWOOD Time of article published May 20, 2019

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Durban - Twenty Durbanites - all of them from the Bluff and Wentworth - were among the 25 South African tourists who were injured when a roadside bomb exploded near their bus in Egypt on Sunday.

The victims were on the last day of their tour of Egypt's pyramids when the explosion rocked the bus they were travelling. 

Media reports state that the explosion occurred near the Grand Egyptian Museum close to the Giza pyramids just outside of Cairo. 

They landed at the OR. Tambo International Aiport and are expected to be in Durban later on Monday. 

Eric Apelgren, head of international relations at the eThekwini Municipality said no one had serious injuries. 

Among the injured was Father Mike Foley the spiritual director of St Francis Xavier Catholic  Parish on the Bluff. The parish had organised the trip to Egypt. About 14 from the parish were onboard the bus. It was there last day on the tour.

"Seven people were injured. Thank God we did not lose anyone. Peoples prayers and thoughts are with them," Apelgren said.  
Aubrey Snyman, eThekwini ward councillor of Wentworth, said part of the group where from Christ the King Roman Catholic Church in Cycas Road. 

"They were on a pilgrimage and tour of Egpyt. They were escorted by Egyptian security forces to the airport. From what I heard two of them suffered injuries to the eye. One person stayed behind with his wife," he said. 

Snyman said the announcement of the incident was made by the deacon during a church service on Sunday night. 

Most of the Durban victims were between the ages of 40 and 70 years old said Snyman. 

"The community was left in shock and we can only pray for them to gain their health. The victims are quite traumatised. You often hear of these incidents but when it affects the people closer to home you realise life is short. They were innocent people. The community wait for their arrival. They were close friends of mine. I knew them personally," Snyman said. 

Videos of the aftermath of the bombing showed several people with injuries onboard the bus.  Wentworth resident Rene Harry responded by saying 
"I just saw pics of my injured neighbours. I'm so saddened by this. Please keep all of them in prayer. Safe travels home

One person can be seen wiping the blood from his forehead, another woman had blood stains underneath her eye. 

The South African Ambassador to Egypt, Ambassador Vusi Mavimbela, informed the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, that 25 South Africans were part of the tourist group. Three are injured and will remain in hospital, the balance of 23 will return to South Africa this morning. All logistics are being coordinated together with their families.

DIRCO Consular Services is in touch with all stakeholders and families.  Sisulu wishes those admitted in the hospital a speedy recovery. The Minister has directed the Ambassador to give them all necessary support.

African News Agency said that Egyptian security forces are waging a counter insurgency campaign against Islamic militants some with links to the Islamic State that is focused in the north of the Sinai Peninsula. 

The window of a private car with four people inside was also shattered by the blast.   

Daily News

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