Firefighter’s lucky escape
A FIREFIGHTER survived a six-storey fall into a disused lift shaft engulfed in flames while trying to rescue a homeless man.
Malusi Mncube, who works for the Durban fire department, emerged from the 18m shaft – where he had also escaped being injured by two metal spikes – with only a bruised hip after being rescued by fellow firefighters on Thursday.
“The shaft was dark and there was smoke… It’s incredible that he survived and suffered only minor injuries,” said acting fire chief Max Magnussen.
Mncube spent three hours in the scorching shaft with the body of the man he had been trying to rescue. The man died of injuries suffered in the fall, and smoke inhalation.
Mncube’s colleagues were amazed that he’d survived.
“I’m gobsmacked – he fell six storeys on to a bed of burning debris in a sealed concrete tube, and he’s basically okay,” firefighter Justin Bateman said. “If he didn’t happen to have breathing apparatus with him, he would not have survived 10 minutes down there… “– Sapa-AFP