Mast collapse that killed five children possibly caused by wire theft

Theft of electric wires is what possibly led to the unsteadiness of a highlight mast which collapsed on a group of five children‚ crushing them to death in Soshanguve‚ north of Pretoria.

Mayor Solly Msimanga said evidence they had pointed to tampering with cables.

“We find ourselves in sorrow following the deviant acts of villains hell-bent on thieving the City’s infrastructure‚” said Msimanga.

“It is unfortunate that this vandalisation of electricity wires has terminated the lives of innocent souls‚” he said.

TimesLIVE earlier reported that four of the five children had died but Msimanga confirmed that the fifth child who was admitted to hospital in a critical condition had also died.

“Four children died within the area and the fifth child‚ who was transported by emergency services to Dr George Mukhari Hospital later died at the facility‚” Msimango said in a statement.

According to police‚ the children were playing under the highlight when the panel‚ housing the lights‚ came crushing down on them.

The children were aged between six and 12-years-old.

Captain Samuel Sebola said the highlight (Apollo) mast was situated near the gate of house number 43 in Block X.

“While playing‚ the Apollo panel of the lights fell on top of them and three of them died on the scene. Two of the children were taken to hospital by ambulance where one was certified dead on arrival‚” he said.

An eyewitness on the scene has told of a horror scene‚ with bodies strewn around the highlight mast. “It was a devastating sight. The little bodies are covered (by paramedics) in a shiny sheet‚ indicating that the children are all dead. They died a horrifying death. They were just being kids‚ running around the highlight mast. Then the next thing the panel just came down‚” eyewitness Joe Seoketsa said.

Msimanga has launched an investigation into the incident.

He stressed that the incident was in no way the municipality’s fault.

“This unpleasant incident us not by any means orchestrated by the municipality therefore the affected community is urged to exercise restraint and allow the qualified organs of state room to conduct investigations rather than resorting to violent acts that are reportedly ensuing out of anger as the result of the deaths‚” Msimanga’s statement read.

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