Fire­fighter’s lucky es­cape

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

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

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