‘They just took photos’

The man who pulled a pilot from a burning gyrocopter says onlookers just took photos and videos instead of helping.

21 December 2020 | Accidents

FRANCOISE STEYNBERG AND ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

“I am not a hero, because nobody survived the accident,” says Johannes Kambonde, who pulled pilot Pierre Blaauw (40) from a burning gyrocopter wreck on Thursday.

“I am so sorry that nobody survived. They could have survived,” Kambonde (45) told Republikein.

“Nobody helped me to rescue them. They just took photos and videos.”

Kambonde, who works for Hertz car rentals, came across the crash scene on his way home from Hosea Kutako International Airport on Thursday afternoon.

“I jumped out of the car when I saw the burning wreckage in the road and the pilot trying to escape from it.

“It wasn’t easy to pull him out, as my hands got burned. I took off my shirt and pulled him to the road shoulder, but then the dry grass next to the road caught fire.

“Nobody offered to help me put out the grass fire. I wanted to go back to pull the passenger from the wreck too, but first I had to put out the fire,” Kambonde recalled.

He said he was talking to Blaauw the whole time they were waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

“I asked him what his name was and he said it was Pierre. I asked him if he was married, and he said no.”

Harrowing experience

Kambonde said Blaauw kept asking how his passenger was.

“I told him his friend was okay. Later after the emergency services arrived, a paramedic told him that his friend was dead. He shouldn’t have told him that,” Kambonde said.

He said he has not received any trauma counselling.

“It was a painful experience to see people in flames. I’m working over the festive season and will drive past the crash scene every day. Seeing the marks in the road will always remind me of this awful experience. I don’t know if those marks will ever disappear.”

Kambonde, originally from Ondangwa, has been living in Windhoek since 1999, is married and has nine children.

“I am a family man and my heart bleeds for the victims’ families. I would like to know when their funerals will be.”

Blaauw was admitted to the Lady Pohamba Private Hospital with severe burns. He died early on Friday morning.

The passenger was identified as Donbaldt Noa (26), the son of Paulus Noa, director-general of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Investigation

A preliminary report on the crash is expected to be released this week by the Directorate of Aircraft Accident Investigation.

The report has been compiled already but still has to be signed off by works and transport minister John Mutorwa, who was not in Windhoek over the weekend.

According to police spokesperson Kauna Shikwambi, the gyrocopter, which had taken off from Eros Airport, hit a power line, burst into flames and burnt out completely.

The crash occurred at 14:20 between Windhoek and the Kapps Farm roadblock.

The director of aircraft accident investigation, Magnus Abraham, told Namibian Sun that they were investigating why the aircraft was flying at such low altitude.

Similar News

 

Three die in car crash at Okakarara

3 days ago - 12 April 2021 | Accidents

NAMPA OKAKARARAThree men died instantly on Saturday after the sedan they were travelling in overturned and crashed into a concrete wall...

Bloody Easter weekend claims 16

1 week ago - 08 April 2021 | Accidents

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKA total of 16 people died in accidents on Namibian roads this past Easter weekend, compared to four fatalities that...

Footballer among weekend crash casualties

3 weeks ago - 23 March 2021 | Accidents

NAMPA ONGWEDIVAFive people died on Saturday night when their car crashed into a...

Anguish as footballers die in Henties crash

1 month - 01 March 2021 | Accidents

IRÉNE-MARI VAN DER WALT AND FRANCOISE STEYNBERG SWAKOPMUND, WINDHOEKYoung soccer players from Henties...

MVA calls for road safety compliance by all road...

1 month - 19 February 2021 | Accidents

STAFF REPORTER The start of the 2021 school year warrants reinforcement of basic road safety education by road safety partners, parents/guardians and schools to support...

Pilot was unfit to fly, probe finds

3 months ago - 12 January 2021 | Accidents

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK The 40-year-old pilot who crashed a gyrocopter on 17 December 2020 just outside of Windhoek did not have a valid...

Man shot after being mistaken for jackal

3 months ago - 11 January 2021 | Accidents

NAMPARUNDUThe police in the Kavango East Region are investigating a case of attempted murder after a 43-year-old man allegedly shot a 22-year-old man at a...

Passenger assistance unit blamed for airport injuries

3 months ago - 04 January 2021 | Accidents

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKPoor maintenance of equipment, overloading and untrained staff have been highlighted as the contributing factors to a scissor-lift passenger assistance...

Man dies in New Year’s Day accident

3 months ago - 04 January 2021 | Accidents

NAMPA RUNDUA 22-year-old man died in the early hours of Friday when he...

‘They just took photos’

3 months ago - 21 December 2020 | Accidents

FRANCOISE STEYNBERG AND ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEK“I am not a hero, because nobody survived the accident,” says Johannes Kambonde, who pulled pilot Pierre Blaauw (40) from a...

Latest News

Credit uptake unresponsive to low...

15 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUDespite the repo rate being at a historical low of 3.75% to making borrowing attractive, credit uptake by businesses and households remain weak.Private sector...

GIPF increases pension benefits by...

15 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUThe Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) announced a 3% pension benefit increase, effective 01 April 2021 for all GIPF pensioners.In the current volatile economic...

Clearing agents fail Namra test

15 hours ago | Economics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKLess than 20% of the clearing agents who sat for the mandatory competency test to obtain certification passed the test.There are currently 343 active...

Villagers retaliate by eating locusts

15 hours ago | Agriculture

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOSHAKATIThe arrival of massive swarms of locusts in northern Namibia, especially in the Kavango West and East, Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions, has been a...

NamRa

15 hours ago | Justice

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKRape accused healthcare worker Dennis Noa will be moved to the Seeis police holding cells outside Windhoek, Magistrate Johannes Shuuveni ordered yesterday at the...

Otjiwarongo Municipality's budget approved

15 hours ago | Economics

The Otjiwarongo Municipality’s local authority councillors on Tuesday approved the municipality’s 2021/22 capital and expenditure budget of more than N$131 million during a special council...

Our conflict diamonds

15 hours ago | Opinion

Our diamonds have become conflict diamonds. Conflict in the local definition which implies the scramble to enrich well-connected people.The tender to valuate Namdia diamonds was...

Child-slapping boy in Outapi court...

15 hours ago | Crime

TUNOHOLE MUNGOBAONGWEDIVAOmusati police have confirmed the arrest of a 17-year-old who was seen in a video clip assaulting a five-year-old girl.The video has gone viral...

Vivo Energy Namibia rewards top...

15 hours ago | Transport

Staff reporter Vivo Energy Namibia, the marketer and distributor of Shell branded petroleum and lubricant products in Namibia, recognised and rewarded top performing retailers...

Load More