A policeman was tragically killed when a large shipping container was blown onto the roof of his car, in the midst of the severe storms outside Durban Harbour on Rotterdam Road on Tuesday, 10 October at about 11:30am.
Rescue Care Paramedics responded to the scene where two policemen were found entrapped. One policeman was freed after a lengthy extraction while the other tragically died.
“Reports from the scene allege that during the storm a 40 foot (12, 2m) container which was stacked on top of other containers was blown over and landed on the car. The incident and preceding events will form part of a police investigation,” said Media Liaison for Netcare Limited, Nick Dollman.
The first man, who was approximately 30-years old, had sustained relatively minor injuries but was trapped inside the car when the roof collapsed under the weight of the container. He was in a stable condition and was transported by ambulance to hospital for further assessment and care.
Tragically the second occupant, believed to be in his 40’s, had sustained severe injuries and died at the scene. To access the victims, the container was removed from the vehicle and then fire fighters and rescue personnel used the Jaws of Life to free the patients from the wreck.
SAPS were also at the scene. Provincial spokesperson for SAPS, Thulani Zwane said that the policemen were off duty at the time.
“An off duty police constable and an ex Warrant Officer were in their private motor vehicle at Bay Head near Durban Harbour. Due to strong winds a container blew off a truck on top of their motor vehicle crushing them. As a result ex member was crushed in the vehicle and declared deceased. The off duty police officer was rushed to hospital,” said Zwane.
Several other large and heavy stacked containers in different areas were also blown over by the strong winds. High wind speeds were reported by eThekwini Municipality Head of Communications Unit, Tozi Mthethwa.