Monday 25 September 2017

Shopping mall collapse kills two and injures 29 in South Africa

Paramedics look for people trapped in a mall that collapsed in Tongaat, South Africa
Paramedics look for people trapped in a mall that collapsed in Tongaat, South Africa
The scene of a mall that collapsed in Tongaat, South Africa

A ROOF at a South African shopping mall under construction collapsed today, killing two people and injuring 29.

Rescue teams used cranes, sniffer dogs and spotlights as the search for any more survivors stretched into the night.

The collapse happened in Tongaat, near the eastern coastal city of Durban, and rescue teams rushed to help workers who were trapped beneath the rubble.

"The dogs are now combing the area for survivors," police Lt. Mandy Govender said. "There's just chunks and chunks of concrete and we don't know what's underneath."

The deputy mayor of the municipality that includes Tongaat said construction should not have been taking place because contractors were not doing a proper job.

"We took them to court a month ago," Nomvuzo Shabalala said. "We thought they had stopped."

There were initial reports that up to 50 people were trapped in the debris. Police were checking names, and said some workers reported as missing may have left the scene before notifying authorities.

Fiona Moonean, whose house is across a railway line from the collapsed part of the mall, said there was a "thunderous sound" before scaffolding collapsed and the roof came crashing down.

"The whole concrete slab crashed down with the pillars. The smoke and dust was too thick. I heard them screaming out for help in Zulu."

 

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