Pylon collapse in Pretoria results in truck crash and major electricity outage
Two heavy commercial vehicles heading in opposite directions drove into low-laying powerlines after seven pylons collapsed causing the powerlines to obstruct the N4 highway east and west bound between Solomon Mahlangu and Simon Vermoten drives in Pretoria on Sunday night, 9 April 2023. Charles Mabaso, deputy chief: public information and liaison officer at the City of Tshwane Emergency Services, said, “City of Tshwane Emergency Services was informed at 09h06am on Monday, 10 April 2023 and Station 4 (Silverton Fire Station) received a call for a special service. Station 1 responded with command vehicle C11, Station 4 responded with Industrial Pump E43 and command vehicle C41 and Station 11 with Aerial Ladder L31.”
At 21h12, Pro Med EMS responded to reports of a truck accident on the N4 highway just after Simon Vermooten Rd, Die Wilgers, in Pretoria. The pylon collapse had caused high-voltage cables to “hang extremely low over the highway,” causing vehicles to swerve to avoid them and resulting in the crash, Pro Med EMS said.
“Upon arrival, paramedics found that multiple structures (Transmission Towers or Pylons) holding high-voltage cables running across the highway collapsed, causing these cables to hang extremely low over the highway, which in turn caused multiple vehicles to collide,” Pro Med EMS said in a statement.
“Upon our arrival, we found electric wires lying low on the ground and all direction on N4 road was closed and traffic diverted by Tshwane Metro Police”, said Mabaso.
He added, “The aerial ladder assisted Tshwane electric department to isolate and disconnect wires from pole 49 in Silver Oaks Crossing. The Tshwane electricity engineer requested the Emergency Services Department for standby and assistance with an aerial ladder so they can isolate all wires affected from the seven fallen and damaged pylons. The City of Tshwane mayor, Mayor Cilliers Brink, was also at the scene. The aerial ladder responded and assisted on the high rise powerline. All wires where disconnected.”
Mabaso said that the pylon collapse over the N4 highway caused two heavy commercial vehicles to crash resulting in two patients, one P2 and one P3. The P2 patient was transported by Netcare to Montana Hospital but the P3 patient refused transport.
Challenges faced included the long weekend’s traffic congestion, poor radio network and the huge area affected by the power outage.
Source: Charles Mabaso, deputy chief: public information and liaison officer, City of Tshwane Emergency Services; Promed
FRI Media (Pty) Ltd is an independent publisher of technical magazines including the well-read and respected Fire and Rescue International, its weekly FRI Newsletter and the Disaster Management Journal. We also offer a complete marketing and publishing package, which include design, printing and corporate wear and gifts.