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Farmworker dies while fighting fire

Farmworker dies while fighting fire

Niël Terblanché


THE 25-year-old Vepounongo Katjimune Maherero, a farm worker on Farm Nugubias in the district of Outjo, burned to death after becoming trapped by a raging bushfire with five of his colleagues.


According to the incident report provided by the Namibian Police in the Kunene Region, the tragic incident occurred at about 16:00 on Tuesday.


The report states that Maherero and five of his colleagues were busy fighting a raging fire on the farm when the wind suddenly turned.


The group did not realise until it was too late that they were surrounded by the flames.


Their only escape was an empty dam at a nearby cattle post.


Farmworker dies fighting Vepounongo Katjimune Maherero farm worker Farm Nugubias Outjo death bushfire


They all jumped into the dam but when the flames got too close, Maherero panicked and jumped out again.


According to the report, he ran straight into the flames in the hope that he would be able to come out behind the line where the fire was burning, but the flames were too deep and he tragically burned to death.


The five other farmworkers Josef James Nowoseb, Forchin Kooper, Harry Haneb, Ricardo Nu-Aiseb, and Steven Nu-Aiseb escaped death because they stayed inside the dam.


The five men, however, all sustained various degrees of burn wounds.


They were all rushed to the Outjo State Hospital for emergency medical treatment.


Haneb, Ricardo and Steven sustained more serious injuries and were transferred to a Windhoek hospital for further treatment.


According to the report, all three of the burn victims are still in a very critical clinical condition.


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