Tornado claims another victim

Published Jun 16, 2024


A TONGAAT father of two has become the latest victim of the Tongaat tornado after succumbing to his injuries.

Arvin Ramluckan, 37, a boilermaker, from Sandfields, died in hospital last Thursday.

His cousin, Dinesh Ramluckan, said that on the afternoon of the tornado, Arvin’s company transport had dropped him off near a shop in Sandfields Drive.

He lived a few metres downs the road and started walking home with a friend, Ramluckan said.

“The friend told us that they suddenly heard a noise, which sounded like an aeroplane. They looked up at the sky and saw the tornado approaching,” said Ramluckan.

“They grabbed each other’s hands and started running. They were trying to get to another friend’s house to seek shelter. However, along the way, the two of them split up. Sadly, Arvin was picked up by the tornado. He was violently flung against a brick wall and it collapsed on him,” he said.

He said Arvin’s friend fell as he was running.

“This happened near a car and he crawled underneath the car to stay safe from the tornado. He remained there for about 30 seconds until the situation was calmer. He then crawled out and began searching for Arvin.

“He was also worried about his own family and went to check if they were okay. When he saw that his family was safe, he went back to look for Arvin. By this time, our home was devastated by the tornado and my aunt was injured,” said Ramluckan.

“His friend never gave up and eventually found Arvin under the pile of bricks. He then told us about what had happened. Arvin was seriously injured at the time. The community helped carry him out and we tried to get him medical assistance. There were trees and debris everywhere. It was a struggle to move through and get him help. No one got in or out of Sandfields. It was utter chaos,” said Ramluckan.

“Paramedics were only able to get to Arvin around 9.30pm. He had suffered severe head injuries and lost a lot of blood,” he added.

Ramluckan said before paramedics took Arvin to hospital he said he was feeling cold.

“He was taken to Osindisweni Hospital in Verulam. Arvin was all alone that night. The next morning our family went to visit him. He was on a ventilator and was not responding. He sadly passed away on Thursday.”

Ramluckan said Arvin was married with two children aged five and two.

“Our family is devastated. Arvin and I grew up together. He was a kind, humble and loving soul. He loved his children and was looking forward to spending Father’s Day with them this Sunday.”

He said Arvin’s death was a double blow to the family.

“We have lost Arvin and our homes. Everything we owned has been destroyed by the tornado. We are lucky to have survived. It is not easy for us or our community. When you look at residents you only see sadness and despair. We were struck by the floods in 2022 and now this. We can only focus now on rebuilding.”

Ramluckan said he was grateful to all the residents who had helped Arvin.


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