Tongaat mall: Slab sagged before collapse

2014-02-12 14:39
Rescue workers at the site of a collapsed mall construction site in Tongaat. (Giordano Stolley, Sapa)

Rescue workers at the site of a collapsed mall construction site in Tongaat. (Giordano Stolley, Sapa)

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

kalahari.com

Durban - A slab of concrete at the ill-fated Tongaat mall sagged by 7cm in the days leading up to the collapse that claimed two lives and injured 29 others, an inquiry heard in Durban on Wednesday.

Ronnie Pillay, a foreman at Gralio Precast (Pty) Ltd, told the labour department inquiry investigating the collapse that one of the slabs at the mall sagged by 70mm.

The inquiry is being chaired by the department's occupational health and safety manager Phumudzo Maphaha.

Pillay said the area that ultimately collapsed was to the right of the sagging slab.

"When the foreman brought it to my attention, I stopped work [continuing] immediately."

He said he then contacted the engineer Andre Ballack and informed him of the problem. He also contacted Gralio owner Jay Singh.

"I told him we have got a serious problem," said Pillay, who admitted he had no formal qualifications.

Pillay said ultimately the instruction was to build two beams under the sagging slab.

He believed that had the supporting columns been bigger the collapse would have been averted and had raised his concerns with Singh. He was later advised these were sufficient.

Deep sound

He had raised concerns over the design of the lift shaft. These, he said had been accepted and the plans for the shaft were accordingly altered. Pillay said the slabs had been poured at least 21 days before the scaffolding was removed. He believed the time for the concrete to cure was more than sufficient.

Pillay said on the day of the collapse, 19 November, scaffolding was being removed. He was on the edge of the slab when "I heard a deep sound".

"Within seconds the entire slab started caving in a hole. I saw it coming towards me."

Two supervisors who were with him fled in the opposite direction.

"I jumped 3 metres down onto the mezzanine slab. That's how I escaped the fall."

He said he ran through mall and down to the bottom where he saw many injured workers.

- SAPA

Read more on:    durban  |  tongaat mall collapse
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

No legal challenge to Nkandla report - Mbete

There are no plans to legally challenge Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on Nkandla, ANC national chairperson Baleka Mbete says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Newlands - 14:10 PM
    Road name: M3 Both Ways
    QUEUEING TRAFFIC on Wynberg Hill
  • Thursday Rondebosch - 12:58 PM
    Road name: Main Road Southbound
    HEAVY DELAYS between Rosebank and Newlands
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.