They just started dropping' - Heroes tell of dramatic scramble after people collapse in Cape Town

Daruk

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Cape Town's Sulailah Murphy was taking a short break outside the shop she and her husband own on Wetton Road in Ottery when people suddenly started collapsing on the pavement on Monday.

"Suddenly, they just started dropping," said Murphy who ran to help.


A vehicle had been handing out food and drinks earlier to people along the road when the events unfolded, she said.

"Suddenly, they just started dropping. They downed the liquid and they dropped, one after the other," Murphy said.


"I was running up and down the street helping people"
Kaashief Bassadien, a customer at their shop Southern Boards, said it was chaos as people were collapsing all along the road.

"There were about 12 people," he said of the number originally affected by varying degrees of breathing difficulties and vomiting.

"I was running up and down the street helping people," added Bassadien, who said he was also part of community safety initiatives and knew some First Aid.

"One man was battling to breathe. He was breathing hard and I tried to keep him calm. He eventually started breathing properly, and vomited," he said.


Murphy said she managed to flag down a passing ER24 ambulance.

Both said they recognised the people who had accepted the offerings of food and drink as people who walk up and down Wetton Road in the hopes of finding work.

A busy scrap-metal dealer is also near one of the collapse sites, where people line up with trolleys full of scrap they hope to sell.

The City of Cape Town's Law Enforcement unit happened to be patrolling in the area and they were flagged down and found three men and one woman who had collapsed at a bus stop.

Spokesperson Wayne Dyason said: "They were busy receiving medical attention from paramedics on the scene and one of them was experiencing convulsions."


Six people are in serious to critical conditions after a suspected poisoning incident. (Jenni Evans, News24)
While the paramedics were working, it was reported that another person was lying on the pavement on Walnut Road and another on the corner of St Joseph's and Wetton roads.

ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said the patients had collapsed at three different locations along the road.

"ER24, Life Healthcare and Western Cape Metro Services arrived on the scene. We found that five were in a critical condition while the sixth was in a serious condition."

They were treated and transported to provincial hospitals.

News24 approached the premises where the food and beverages were said to have come from but was told there was nobody to speak about the incident.

A man eating a large portion of savoury mince from an ice cream tub said he was eating the same food that had been handed out and he was fine
 

maumau

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scary stuff. wonder if it was deliberate or accidental poisoning
Recently some children died after eating something found on a dump. Think it was also Cape Town but I could be wrong.
 

thechamp

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A man eating a large portion of savoury mince from an ice cream tub said he was eating the same food that had been handed out and he was fine
Brave guy.
 

Daruk

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Brave guy.
Desperate guy. Sad.
I reckon it was accidental if the place giving it out was a fixed address and not on wheels. Could have been expired cooldrink for instance, while the mince was not contaminated.
 

NarrowBandFtw

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They're heroes to those they assisted, as well as their families.
Certainly, but those aren't the people who wrote the article, the writer chose the word "heroes".

I reckon the world's standards have dropped in general for all kinds of things, wish we could be inspired by true heroes again and not call ordinary deeds, or even worse outright theft and corruption ala Zuma, heroic.

Meh, maybe it's just me, imo a hero puts his/her own life on the line to save another.
 

Mila

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So he did a random act of kindness and are a hero.
**** I must have a bat mobile...
 

gamer16

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Stranger: You there! Here have some food I say.
Peasant: Why thank you kind Sir
Peasant: Dies
Stranger: Good good...

Who just accepts food from random strangers? Hungry people I suppose but still, effective and cheap way to do food trials without the use of animals though.
 

eg2505

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nobody saw who handed out the food?
no cameras nearby, nobody got a licence plate?
 

P924

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effective and cheap way to do food trials without the use of animals though.
What? Who does food trials on animals? That is not how it works. You should follow protocol that makes food that is safe. If there is any reason to suspect otherwise, a sample is analyzed by a lab for food safety. Besides that, you want an official report, are you going to write "handed out test samples to random people, did not see anyone die"?
 

gamer16

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What? Who does food trials on animals? That is not how it works. You should follow protocol that makes food that is safe. If there is any reason to suspect otherwise, a sample is analyzed by a lab for food safety. Besides that, you want an official report, are you going to write "handed out test samples to random people, did not see anyone die"?
Which do you think is cheaper, spectrographic analysis or seeing if a person dies from it?
 

P924

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Which do you think is cheaper, spectrographic analysis or seeing if a person dies from it?
Is that a serious question? (besides the fact that food safety tests usually only test for pathogens, which would be really difficult to do with a spectroscope)
 
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