5 injured after Charlotte Maxeke roof collapse

2017-03-02 19:51
The scene after the roof collapse at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

The scene after the roof collapse at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - Five people have sustained minor injuries after a roof at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital collapsed near the facility's main entrance on Thursday afternoon, the Gauteng health department said.

Those injured include two construction workers, two members of the public and one hospital staff member, the department said in a statement.

The incident took place while private construction workers were repairing a leaking section of the roof, the department said.

Emergency rescue services were on the scene trying to ascertain if there were any other people trapped under the rubble.

Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa said it was important for the public to know that the collapse was confined to the main entrance of the hospital and as such, the rest of the hospital was not affected.

"We want to assure the public that we share their concerns in terms of patient safety, while confirming that the incident is confined to the main entrance of the hospital, so patients are not affected," Ramokgopa said.

Reports of missing unconfirmed

Earlier, Gauteng Emergency Medical Services CEO Arnold Malotana said they believed 10 to 12 people were trapped under the rubble, but could not immediately confirm this.

"We still need to account for the missing number and we are waiting for the contractor and the foreman to account for those numbers," Malotana said at the time.

Later, ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring told reporters that there were reports that three people were still stuck under the rubble.

"Unfortunately, this cannot be confirmed at the moment," he said.

He said teams made up of almost 30 people were trying to wade through the rubble, a very tedious and time consuming exercise.

"There may be more people still trapped under the rubble, but it is not confirmed yet."

He declined to comment on whether there were any fatalities. More details would be revealed after the rubble had been cleared, he said.

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