Probes under way as M1 reopens

2015-10-15 19:35
(Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

(Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

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Johannesburg – Gauteng’s M1 highway reopened on Thursday, nearly 24 hours after a bridge under construction collapsed, killing two people, injuring another 21 and causing traffic chaos.

A labour department investigation was under way into what had caused the scaffolding across the M1 at Grayston Drive to collapse on Wednesday afternoon, spokesperson Sithembile Tshwete said.

A minibus taxi driver and a man in a Toyota Fortuner were killed.

Tshwete said a preliminary report would be compiled and a decision be made on whether a formal inquiry needed to be held. It would be established if the Gauteng government or the construction company Murray & Roberts were at fault.

If it was found there had been contraventions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the labour department could make a recommendation for prosecution.

Murray & Roberts spokesperson Ed Jardim said they did not know how long their probe would take and appealed to the public to await the outcome.

The construction company had appointed its own technical, engineering, legal and forensic specialists to investigate. It would contribute to the funerals of the two victims and to the medical expenses of those injured.

The mother of one of the critically injured, a 21-year-old man, had given her son her last R20 so he could catch the minibus taxi from his work in Sunninghill to Tsakane on the East Rand. He was sitting in the front of the taxi when the structure collapsed, killing the driver. He was on a ventilator at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

Construction on the Great Walk Bridge began in March. It was intended to have been completed in October 2016 and be part of a 5km pedestrian and cycling path linking Alexandra and the Sandton central business district.

Read more on:    murray & roberts  |  johannesburg  |  joburg bridge collapse

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