Netcare has released the names of the five people who were killed when one of its helicopters crashed in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) on Thursday, 21 January 2021.
The group’s CEO Richard Friedland has expressed sadness over the incident and has put names to those who lost their lives in the tragedy.
“Our deepest sympathies are with the families, loved ones and colleagues of Dr Kgopotso Rudolph Mononyane, an anaesthetist, Dr Curnick Siyabonga (Sia) Mahlangu a cardiothoracic surgeon and Mpho Xaba, a specialist theatre nurse for cardiothoracic and transplant, all from Netcare Milpark Hospital; Sinjin Joshua Farrance, an advanced life support paramedic at Netcare 911, as well as the pilot of the helicopter, Mark Stoxreiter who worked for National Airways Corporation,” Friedland said.
The helicopter was en route to Durban to fetch a critically ill patient when it went down near Bergville.
“The specialised ECMO intensive care rapid transfer team from Netcare Milpark in Johannesburg and Netcare 911, was aboard the Netcare 1 air ambulance en route to Hillcrest in Natal to transfer a critically ill patient to Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg for specialised ECMO care” he further said.
The deaths come at a critical time for the healthcare fraternity, as many medical personnel are knee-deep in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly as the number of cases continue skyrocketing.
Cause of Netcare helicopter crash to be probed
Craig Grindell, managing director of Netcare 911, said they would be investigating the cause of the crash. He further expressed condolences to the families of the deceased.
“There are no words adequate to describe our sense of enormous loss and grief at this terrible time. On behalf of Netcare and Netcare 911 management and staff, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the families of our colleagues. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this most difficult time,” he said.
In November 2020, a pilot was killed when a private plane crashed at the Nelspruit Airport.
“Reports from the scene alleged that a light aircraft piloted by an adult male, the only occupant on board, came down outside the airport,”Netcare 911’s Shawn Herbst had said at the time.