Two Eastern Cape pupils died, while five others sustained injuries when they were trying to burn a snake at their school.
The pupils, according to the provincial education department, were injured on Tuesday. They were rushed to various hospitals, where two of them died.
“The learners caught fire while trying to burn a snake they saw in the grounds of the school premises during break time,” said Eastern Cape education spokesperson Mali Mtima.
He said teachers became aware of the incident when they saw the pupils stoning the snake.
“…they quickly tried to intervene by joining the learners in killing the snake.
“The seven learners were unfortunately caught by the flames of the fire in the process,” Mtima said.
He said one of the injured pupils was in a critical condition at the Nelson Mandela Academic hospital, while four others were being treated at St Barnabas hospital in Libode.
“The department has sent psychosocial support to the school to provide counselling services to the teachers and learners. Additionally, a team from the department will also visit the school and the affected families today including the two bereaved families to pay their respects.”
MEC Fundile Gade sent his condolences to the families, friends, school and the community of the of the pupils who died.