Death toll rises in Soweto building collapse

2014-06-26 21:31
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Another body was found in the collapsed building in Soweto on Thursday evening, bringing the death toll to four, Johannesburg emergency management services said.

Spokesperson Nana Radebe said a man's body was removed from the rubble and handed to police, while the bodies of three others were still under the rubble.

The building, an old power station behind the Orlando towers, collapsed on Wednesday.

On Thursday morning, a man's arm was amputated before he could be rescued.

"The man was taken out after 03:00, and it was difficult for the trauma doctors to access him. So we had to gain access from under the site," Radebe said.

"His arm was amputated while he was still trapped because we could not move the building from his hand, as it could destabilise the area and cause a secondary collapse."

He was pinned to the ground by a beam on his hand. The rescue team had to remove metal, beams, and concrete to help him. He was taken to hospital in a stable but critical condition, she said.

Radebe said more specialised equipment, such as hydraulics, were brought to the scene to help the rescue technicians.

On Wednesday, Radebe said paramedics received a call from an injured man who claimed to have been part of a group allegedly trying to steal cables and metal from the building.

Gauteng Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Jacob Mamabolo visited the building site on Thursday and conveyed his condolences to the families of the people who were killed in the collapse.

Mamabolo said the provincial disaster management centre, which was under Cogta, and the Johannesburg EMS teams were being assisted by EMS teams from Ekurhuleni and West Rand District to rescue the people who were trapped under the rubble.

"The rescue teams are confident that they are very close and will report activities as and when they happen," he said in a statement.

He said the EMS teams were awaiting additional urban search and rescue equipment from the national disaster management centre to assist in verifying if there were more bodies trapped.

"We do not want to make speculations. We will first gather facts especially on the issue of what caused the collapse of the building and how going forward we can try to avoid such disasters," said Mamabolo.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  search and rescue

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

There is a tendency to get too caught up in group dynamics and high expectations and ideals, that your own personal needs more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.