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Phoenix mother and toddler trapped in house after water pipe bursts

A Phoenix mother and toddler trapped in home.

A Phoenix mother and toddler trapped in home.

Published Jun 24, 2021

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Durban: A Phoenix mother and her toddler were trapped inside their home after a burst pipe flooded their home jamming their front door.

Noorun Mahomed, 31, a social worker at the Tongaat Child Welfare, stood on a sofa holding her two-year-old daughter as the water rose in their home.

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Her husband, Ismail Mahomed, 30, a property developer, who returned home from work, rescued them and their dogs.

Ismail Mahomed said: “I was 10 minutes away from home when my wife called to tell me what was going on. She said water was rushing into the home and she could not get out.

“Our home is below road level and we believe that workers from a fibre installation company struck a water pipe.

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“When I arrived, I saw thousands of litres of water gushing out of the broken pipe and into our driveway and home. It was like a waterfall. The workers stood outside the property.

“I ran to the sliding door at the front of our home and saw my wife standing on a couch with our daughter in her arms. The water was as high as the sofa seat.”

He said he tried to open the door, and thereafter another door at the side of the home, but was unable to. Mahomed said a lot of sand was lodged against the door which prevented him from gaining entry.

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“The workers from the fibre construction company also tried to help. I was scared that I would not be able to help my family. Just then, an off-duty plumber from the eThekwini Municipality stopped his vehicle when he saw what was happening. He assisted by turning off the water supply on the roadside. This made all the difference.”

He said while trudging in the knee-high water, he managed to remove the sand lodged against the door.

“When I opened the door, I saw my two little dogs, Loki and Kai, struggling to keep their heads above the water. I grabbed onto them and left them on the road. I then went to my wife. I took my daughter from her and we walked out of the house together. I was thankful they were okay. My wife was shaken.”

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He said everything in their home was damaged.

“I spent six months renovating the home. Everything was new and now everything is destroyed – our appliances, furniture, and most of our clothing and groceries. We just moved into the place two weeks ago. We did not even update our insurance with the new valuations of our furniture and other items.”

Mahomed said he lodged a complaint with the eThekwini Municipality over the phone.

“An assessor from the municipality visited the property but I now cannot get a hold of him or anyone else from the municipality for feedback on the damages. As much as the fibre company hit the pipe, the municipality is equally to blame because the infrastructure was not upgraded. It is as old as Phoenix itself. My wife and child could have died if I did not get to them on time.”

He said they stayed a few nights at the Coastlands Hotel, while his dogs were left on the property.

“Before we left for the hotel, the water outside had cleared. I went back every day to check on things and to feed my dogs.”

On Sunday, he stayed at the home, while his wife and daughter stayed with her mother.

“They are doing well. We invested so much in the home and to see it like this is disappointing.”

The flooded driveway.

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