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Teen loses arm in Drakensberg rock fall

A 14-year-old KwaZulu-Natal pupil is recovering in hospital after his right arm was amputated at the elbow following an accident in the Drakensberg.

Xilombe Tlakula, a Grade 9 pupil at Hilton College, was on a school excursion on Wednesday when a rock dislodged on the mountain and fell onto him, severely injuring his right arm. It was his dominant hand that was amputated.

On Thursday, the school’s marketing director Paul Guthrie said: “We now know that the injury was caused by a large rock which was dislodged and landed on his arm.

“Unfortunately the nature of the injury to Xilombe’s right arm left the doctors with no alternative but to amputate at the elbow. He underwent extensive surgery [on Wednesday night] and my latest news is that he is out of theatre and in a stable condition,” he said.

He said he had visited Xilombe in hospital on Thursday and he was heavily sedated and both his parents were with him.

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