South Africa

Braai Kills 3 People In Polokwane

In a devastating turn of events, a man and two teenagers tragically lost their lives to suspected carbon monoxide poisoning while attempting to keep warm during the bone-chilling cold that has gripped the region. The victims, whose identities have not yet been released by authorities, resorted to using a braai stand as a source of heat inside their enclosed room, unaware of the deadly consequences that awaited them.

The victims, a 22-year-old man and two teenage boys aged 14 and 17, were found lifeless in a bedroom they shared in a house in Morongoa Park, outside Polokwane. Their family, waking to a scene of unimaginable sorrow, discovered the trio motionless and immediately alerted emergency services.

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“Police were called to the scene and upon arrival they found three lifeless bodies of [the] boys. The family realised they were motionless and immediately called the police and EMS personnel,” confirmed police spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba.

The tragedy unfolded during a cold snap that has gripped the country, sending temperatures plummeting to single figures in many areas and dipping below zero in others. The family, seeking respite from the bitter chill, had apparently resorted to using a braai stand and coals as a makeshift heater in their bedroom.

“According to preliminary police reports, the three went to bed on Thursday night and took along a braai stand and coals, presumably as a heat source,” said Colonel Ledwaba.

The incident has ignited a wave of concern and prompted urgent calls for public awareness regarding the dangers of using braai stands indoors. Limpopo police commissioner Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe issued a stark warning to the community, emphasizing the potential for harm and even death associated with such practices.

“The inhalation of [these substances] has proven to be a dangerous practice and has the potential to cause harm or death,” she said, urging residents to exercise extreme caution and prioritize safety during the winter months.

The loss of these young lives has sent shockwaves through the community, leaving behind a void that will be felt deeply. The families of the victims are grappling with the devastating loss, while neighbours and friends struggle to comprehend the tragedy.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of safety precautions during the winter months. As temperatures drop and the need for warmth intensifies, it is crucial to remember that using braai stands or other open flames indoors can pose a serious threat to life.

Experts advise against using such methods for heating, highlighting the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. This odourless, colourless gas can be fatal when inhaled, as it displaces oxygen in the blood, leading to suffocation.

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