Rescue bid back on at Soweto building

2014-06-27 10:04
The collapsed building in Soweto. (Picture: Sapa)

The collapsed building in Soweto. (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Rescue operations resumed at 08:30 on Friday at a collapsed building in Soweto where four people died, Johannesburg emergency management services said.

"The rescue operations were terminated after 12 (midnight) this morning," spokesperson Nana Radebe said.

On Thursday evening, a man's body was removed from the rubble, Radebe said.

The bodies of three other people were still trapped under the rubble.

The building, an old power station behind the landmark 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 at the time.

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 MEC Jacob Mamabolo visited the building site on Thursday.

He said the provincial disaster management centre, which fell under his department, and the Johannesburg EMS teams were being assisted by EMS teams from Ekurhuleni and the West Rand District to rescue the people trapped under the rubble.

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.
- SAPA
Read more on:    johannesburg  |  search and rescue
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