Girl, 15, in ICU after her hair is caught in go-kart at Durban mall

Centre management say they are fully co-operating with family

04 January 2023 - 11:14 By Sakhiseni Nxumalo
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A Durban teen is in ICU after her hair became tangled in a go-kart at Gateway Mall last week.
A Durban teen is in ICU after her hair became tangled in a go-kart at Gateway Mall last week.
Image: Supplied

A 15-year-old Durban girl has spent a week in ICU with spinal bruising, spinal cord damage and a torn aorta after her hair became tangled in her go-kart during an action-karting race at Gateway Mall. 

Vernon Govender said his daughter Kristen was injured last Wednesday. He said doctors told him his daughter also has a torn scalp and no movement from her waist down. 

Govender, who could not say how the incident happened, said Kristen had her helmet on and her hair was tied into a ponytail. He said while family members were present, she was assisted by bystanders who called paramedics.

“The doctors said they won’t rush her to the surgery because she is young. They are taking measures to see how her body is reacting to the medication.

“My focus is for her to get better, walk out of the hospital and go back to school. There are a lot of answers I need but I will deal with things regarding the incident after my daughter is home with us,” he said. 

Govender said the mall contacted him on Tuesday. 

Gateway Mall confirmed the incident at the Action Karting establishment last Wednesday. 

The mall said “due to the sensitive nature of the incident and out of respect for the family” it would not comment on the details about the incident at this stage. 

It said a management representative was in contact with her father since the day after the incident.

“Members of our team have also met with family members at the centre’s management office. The centre’s security responded immediately after being made aware of the incident and proceeded to call emergency services. The centre’s security supervisor was in attendance at the scene until the ambulance left the centre.  Where possible the centre will assist with any information, reports and details needed by the family.”

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