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UPDATE: Crying child not found in storm water drain

ALEXANDRA - Paramedics from the Emergency Management Services and Police are searching an underground storm drain for a child members of the public claim to have heard crying underground.

UPDATE:The Emergency Management Services last night called off the search for a child alleged to have been heard crying in a storm water drain.

This after the teams searched the drain from 4th Avenue to the Jukskei river with no positive results. During the search, EMS said their search resulted from hearsay and if need be, they would extend to searching in the river.

Meanwhile, residents who raised the alarm said they had not been informed of the outcome of the search. Councillor Shadrack Mkhonto said he was informed by residents at various search sites that no child was found, but could not state if the search will continue. The police at the Alexandra Police Station said no report of a missing child had been received.

There has been no official confirmation that Johannesburg Emergency Management Services has called off the search for a child believed to have been heard crying from inside a storm drain in Alexandra’s 17th Avenue.

Residents claimed they heard the cries of a child which they believed came from the nearby storm drain. In panic, they then called the police and emergency services to search for the child. The search was launched a little before midday but by late afternoon, it had not yielded the desired results.

Paramedics from the emergency services were joined by the Alex police and went down the drain and other nearby drainage systems, but could not find anything. The storm water drain is said to lead to the Jukskei River, which prompted the paramedics to scour the river as well.

Officials from the emergency services, though refusing to comment, and referring all inquiries to their spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi, whose cellphone went unanswered all day, said they believed it was just hoax.

Numerous messages were not returned.

“The residents must have heard a baby crying from a nearby home and mistook it for a cry inside a drainage system,” they said. Alex police spokesperson Warrant Officer Moses Maphakela said he was going to make inquiries as well on the progress and results of the search.

“There has been no report of a missing child in the whole of Alexandra and chances are there was no child that fell down the drain,” he said.

Initial report: Paramedics of the Emergency Management Services and police are searching a storm drain for a child.

This after members of the public claimed to have heard the crying of a child coming from the storm drain.

Residents Metelia Ncube, Sibonelo Mpofu (12) and Slindokuhle Ncube (14) said they heard the child crying for her mother from an opening of the drain in their yard on 17th Avenue.

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They were doing laundry when they heard the sound and immediately alerted the police who called in the paramedics.

An EMS spokesperson on site who gave his name as D Fritz said they would search the 2.5 metre diameter drain which stretches from Fourth Avenue down to the Jukskei river on 21st Avenue. “If there is a need, we will also search in the river until were are satisfied of the outcome.” he said

The drain is one of four in the area known to be a breeding place for rats. Councillor Shadrach Mkhonto who was on site said the incident was disturbing as the drain could not be opened easily.

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Ncube indicated that in January last year another child was rescued by neighbours after falling through an opening in the same drain.

Police had no report of a missing child.

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This is a developing story, more details will follow as they become available.

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One Comment

  1. That drain is approximately 30 metres from the culverts that run along Riverside Tavern (kaSkhala) ….it is easier to access the culverts at the openning by the Jukskei river at the bridge that leads to West bank.
    As kids we could walk underneath Alex from there emafletini (12th Ave) to Jukskei (kaSfunza)

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