Church collapse funeral mourners in bus crash: MEC Dhlomo commends KZN Health paramedics, hospital staff for swift response (forensic pathology staff also commended for their crucial role in completing autopsies in recent adverse incidents)

29 April 2019

First, the wall of a church building collapsed, killing 13 people in Empangeni on the eve of Good Friday last week. Then yesterday, a bus carrying mourners returning from that funeral overturned near KwaCeza, leaving 52 people injured. Now, KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo has heaped praise on all the paramedics, doctors and nurses who sprung to action and rendered medical assistance to the injured.

“We were extremely shocked to hear about the incident of the bus crash, just a short while after we had just laid to rest our fellow compatriots who perished at the Pentecostal Holiness Church last week. We praise the Lord for sparing these lives this time. We are informed that 10 people sustained serious injuries from the bus accident, and 42 had minor injuries. We wish them all a speedy and full recovery,” said MEC Dhlomo.

“We would like to commend our KZN Health Emergency Medical Services staff for stabilising and transporting these patients, and the doctors and nurses at Ceza and Nkonjeni hospitals, who received them and swiftly provided medical attention. We dispatched seven Intermediate Life Support Paramedics, six Basic Life Support paramedics, two Emergency Support Vehicles, and one rescue response vehicle to the scene. All our EMS personnel applied themselves fully, stabilising those who were seriously injured, before transferring them to hospital. They were equal to the task, and we appreciate what they did.”

While some patients were treated and released, others continue to receive treatment.

The MEC also thanked the province’s Forensic Pathology Services staff for performing their tasks with diligence in response to recent adverse incidents, including:

  • Conducting the autopsies on the bodies of five people who lost their lives during a road crash in the Ndlagubo area, on the same day as the church collapse;
  • Completing all autopsies of the 67 people who demised in separate incidents during the floods that swept through the eThekwini area last week;
  • “These recent incidents have been a difficult test of our ability and readiness to respond effectively to unforeseen emergencies. Our Forensic Pathology Services, EMS paramedics, nurses and clinicians really rose to the occasion over the past few days. As sad and painful as it has been to witness the loss of lives and destruction to property on such a massive scale, the way in which our people have responded has been nevertheless comforting, for us and for those who are grieving. We therefore want to say thank you, and also encourage them to continue working hard for the benefit of our fellow compatriots.”

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