Ward councillor Spha Madlala rushed out of his Copesville, Pietermaritzburg, home when he heard a massive crashing sound on Friday morning.
As he ran down Kyanite Road, he saw what caused the sound: a truck had lost control and had come to rest on top of a completely flattened house. While he rushed to the scene he heard a chilling sound coming from the rubble.
“We heard the children crying,” said Madlala, who is a paramedic by training. “They were under the bricks.”
Fortunately, the four children – who were home alone because their father had left home to go to work – were spared because a cavity had miraculously formed around them.
“There was a small hole. We pulled each of them out,” said Madlala.
He said the children appeared to have no injuries, but were “in a state of shock”. They were taken to a local hospital. They are aged between 4 and 14.
The truck driver, however, according to KZN Emergency Services spokesman Robert McKenzie, was in a serious condition. He was also taken to hospital for treatment.
The children’s grandmother, Bongi Nxumalo, said she collapsed out of shock when she saw the state of the house.
“When I heard that the truck had come through my house, I thought of all my grandchildren that were in the house. I cried very loudly,” she said.
Nxumalo said that her son, the children’s’ father, was taken through to hospital – also because of shock.
“He is currently in hospital with all the kids. I am the only family member left here. We don’t even know where they are going to sleep because even at my home we are full; all the rooms are full. Nothing could be saved everything that was in the house was destroyed. There is nothing,” she said.
Another neighbour that rushed to the scene, Thasmia Mohamed, said she heard the truck screeching down the road at 5am and hitting a speed bump.
“He was probably speeding,” she said.
Madlala said a traffic light was needed on the road to prevent this from happening again.
“There have been a number of accidents in the same area,” said Madlala.