KZN toddler dies of smoke inhalation from traditional heater

A northern KZN toddler died on Friday from prolonged inhalation of smoke from a traditional heater
A northern KZN toddler died on Friday from prolonged inhalation of smoke from a traditional heater
Image: Gallo Images/iStockphoto

A three-year-old and a 44-year-old have died in KwaZulu-Natal after inhaling smoke from imbawula (a traditional heater) fuelled with charcoal.

According to the KwaZulu-Natal department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta), the bodies were discovered on Friday morning after two neighbouring houses in Nquthu kept their heater running overnight which led to prolonged inhalation of smoke. The pair were from different households.

Four other people are currently receiving medical attention from a local hospital as a result of the incident.

Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka urged residents to be cautious when using these heaters or generators to keep warm during winter.  

“It is important that we all practise caution whenever we use izimbawula or generators. The tragic incident in Nquthu is regrettable. We do not want to see the unnecessary loss of life in our province as a result of smoke inhalation, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic which is already putting pressure on our health facilities,” said Hlomuka.


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