Deadly inferno: Survivor narrates hair-raising ordeal

Ten people died on Monday while attempting to control a raging inferno at a farm in Esigodini, Matabeleland South.

The farm known as Lot 43, owned by Abel Moyo is also home to Red Ross mine.

The fire, whose cause is yet to be established, started in the morning and the farm workers with the help of other community members tried to put out the fire.

However, the fire became uncontrollable and quickly spread resulting in some of the workers being trapped and burnt to death.

Ten people who are all males succumbed to the fire while five others who survived suffered severe burns.

Recounting the ordeal, one of the survivors Mhlaliswa Ngwenya said the fire emanated from the mine site and they tried to use fire beaters to extinguish it before it could spread further but it overwhelmed them.

“The fire came from the mine and we tried to put it but it overwhelmed us and we were trapped in a mountainous area. I managed to escape by climbing up the mountain but I suffered burns on my arms and head,” Ngwenya narrated.

“We tried to spread ourselves to cover a large area and there was a lot of smoke. The deceased were affected by the smoke.”

Ngwenya said the injured were rushed to the hospital for treatment.

“They took us to the hospital and I was bandaged and discharged. I will go back tomorrow for further treatment,” he said.

Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Matabeleland South provincial manager Decent Ndlovu said: “ I am still to get the full details but the issue is there are people who were affected, ten of them, burnt by the veld fire.”

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