One moment Bongani Mpange was cutting paper with the industrial guillotine he had been using for nine years, the next he was staring down in horror at his bloody hands detached from the rest of his body.
“I pulled the paper. The blade fell down, cut both my hands and then went up. I screamed and then saw my hands lying there. There was nothing more I could do,” said Mpange, 31.
The accident occurred just before noon on Thursday at the Da Gama paper factory in Parow Industria.
Mpange believed it happened because the machine was “broken”.
He said the guillotine was fitted with a sensor and was designed not to drop if it sensed there was an object other than paper below it.
“I didn’t think the blade would come down, but it did,” said Mpange.
Moments after his hands had been severed, fellow staff members ran to Mpange’s assistance.
“There was a lot of blood and I was feeling the pain,” Mpange said.
“People working with me fetched my hands and put (them) on ice.
“They tied (my wrists because they were) bleeding too much.”
Mpange’s supervisor called an ambulance, and it arrived about 30 minutes later.
Mpange was taken to the Vincent Pallotti Hospital in Pinelands where two teams of doctors worked for seven hours to reattach his hands.
Source: Cape Times