More than 50 shacks destroyed after live high-voltage pylon collapses in Alex

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    More than 50 shacks in the Setswetla Informal Settlement in Alexandra were destroyed by fire yesterday, after a live high-voltage pylon collapsed.

    Officials are investigating how an electricity pylon fell onto shacks in Alexandra on Tuesday afternoon, sparking a fire which left many families homeless.

    At least one person, a 26-year-old man, was seriously injured, the City said in a statement, and has been transported to hospital for medical attention.

    “Disaster Management continues to assess the damage caused and relief operation planning is underway between the City’s Disaster Management and Social Development departments. NGOs [non-governmental organisations], including Gift of the Givers, Marlboro Indian Community, Alim Al-Imdaad, Ashraf Uloom, and S.M.J, have confirmed that they will assist with relief distribution.”

    Residents who were affected found shelter in a nearby crèche and church building overnight.

    The City said its deepest sympathy goes to the families affected by this sudden and devastating fire.“The City is focusing its efforts, across multiple departments, to ensure that we assist the residents affected by today’s fire.”

    In a statement issued by City Power, the power entity said it was not known at present what had caused the 88kv pylon to fall. “The line is carrying a live high voltage electricity and can electrocute a person if one comes into contact with it,” read City Power’s statement.

    The power entity further warned that there were a number of areas that were affected by the power loss as a result of this incident. These areas include:

    • Greenstone Park
    • Thornhill Estate
    • Greenstone Shopping Centre
    • Longmeadow Ext 2, 7, 10, 17 & 19

    “City Power will keep customers updated as and when new information becomes available.”