An Overport mother, believed to be in her 70s, was miraculously rescued but tragically, her 24-year-old son, was crushed to death when a retaining wall collapsed on to their family home in West Road during the flash floods in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The slumbering son, identified as, Mohammed Saleh Jeewa, was in his bedroom when the wall crumbled and trapped him. Rescue Care operations director, Garrith Jamieson, said the victim was stuck under the heaps of rubble and was declared deceased at the scene, after rescue teams battled for many hours to extricate his body.
According to Jamieson, the elderly mother was entrapped for two hours under rubble and was rescued amidst great difficulty as the rain pounded the emergency and rescue personnel. The aged patient was rushed to a nearby hospital for urgent medical care whilst another son was also rescued without injuries.
“It was a great team effort by SAPS and Metro Police Search and Rescue Care, Durban Fire Department, Rescue Care and IPSS Medical that led to the valiant rescue of the elderly lady under such tenuous circumstances,” said Jamieson.
In a separate incident, a family of three from Pridley Park informal settlement and a pregnant 34-year-old woman from the Shannon Road informal settlement, were washed out about 10 metres in a landslide in the Reservoir Hills area in the early hours of Tuesday morning and their bodies were later recovered by emergency and rescue personnel.
KZN EMS spokesman, Robert McKenzie, said rescuers had to crouch down to get through the small spaces between the dwellings in order to search for the bodies.Sydenham SAPS communications officer, Cpt Myen Lazarus, confirmed the deaths of the father, mother, a four-year-old child and the pregnant woman. “This is one of the worst storms that ravaged the Sydenham policing precinct. We would like to thank all the community patrollers and NGOs, who assisted in providing shelter and basic provisions for the displaced informal dwellers and with reacting to emergency call outs,” said Cpt Lazarus.