Three crewmembers of the South African Navy frigate SAS Amatola have died in what is described as a horror car crash along Boyes Drive above Kalk Bay near Simon’s Town early on Saturday.
The three sailors died when the military vehicle in which they were travelling smashed into a tree next to the road and burst into flames, the Cape Argus reports. Cyclists and two joggers tried their best to douse the flames with sand and two fire extinguishers supplied by a passing lorry, but to no avail, the paper adds.
Police identified the sailors as F Ndzungu, 24, K Nemaungani, 22, and S Hodo, 25. Their first names were not available. A South African Navy spokeswoman declined to provide more detail, saying the navy did not have permission from the trio’s parents to release their names.
The South African National Defence Force in a statement on behalf of the Navy said the three were travelling from Silvermine to Simon’s Town to attend the Navy festival when the accident occurred.
“A Board of Inquiry has since been convened to investigate the incident,” the statement added. “The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu said that the untimely passing on of the SA Navy members is deeply regrettable. She extends her sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the deceased.” Chief of the SANDF General Godfrey Ngwenya added his regrets.