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‘Red Zone’ declared after armed robbers hit ambulance in Cape Town

Cape Town - No ambulance will enter the Mfuleni area on Friday morning in Cape Town without a police escort, after it was declared a "red zone" following an attempted armed robbery of a crew as they entered the local day hospital.

The declaration was to be effective for a 24-hour period following the incident on Thursday afternoon, and expires at 13:00 on Friday.

Western Cape Emergency Medical and Forensic Pathology Services spokesperson Robert Daniels said the attempted heist took place at the Mfuleni Day Hospital, about 30km outside the city centre, at 13:00.

“Fortunately the attackers fled when members of the public approached the ambulance. The crew were left uninjured and took refuge inside the medical facility until police were able to escort them out of the area,” he said.

According to police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut, the ambulance was blocked by armed men on Mfuleni Main Road.

The attempted robbery took place just over a week after an attack on the N2 is believed to have resulted in the death of little Faigon Wildschut, 8, who died last Wednesday afternoon, hours after the ambulance he had been travelling in was stoned, forced off the road, and ambushed by thugs.

The department confirmed that Browns Farm in Philippi, Tafelsig, Beacon Valley, Hyde Park, Nyanga, Gugulethu, New Crossroads, Manenberg, Hanover Park, Bonteheuwel, Kalksteenfontein, Elsies River, Chicago in Paarl, Site C in Khayelitsha and J-Section in Lingelethu had all been classified as red zones.

In response to the spate of attacks on emergency services staff, anti-hijacking training is being piloted, hotspots have been identified, and ambulances have been fitted with tinted smash-and-grab windows, as well as panic buttons and tracking systems. DM

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