Zuma offers condolences after bridge collapse

2015-10-15 10:28
Rescue workers labour through the night at the site of a collapsed bridge on the M1 in Johannesburg. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

Rescue workers labour through the night at the site of a collapsed bridge on the M1 in Johannesburg. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma extended his condolences on Thursday to the families of those who were killed when scaffolding for a bridge collapsed on the M1 highway in Sandton.

"The president further wished those who were injured during the accident a speedy recovery. He has directed the authorities to swiftly investigate the cause of the accident," the presidency said in a statement.

"President Zuma has also urged construction companies to always take necessary precautions to protect workers and the public during the construction phases to avoid such tragic accidents."

Earlier on Thursday, the City of Joburg said it received a report of a third death following Wednesday's collapse.

"We have received a report that a third person has died but once we complete the site inspection we will be going to hospital to confirm," Mayor Parks Tau's spokesperson Phindile Chauke told News24.

However, the city's emergency management services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi told News24 that only two people have died thus far from the collapse, with the third person in a critical condition in hospital.

The number of injured remained at 21, with five of those critically injured, he said.

Chauke said around 80% of the debris had been cleared by 08:15, with the city anticipating the highway to be clear for afternoon peak traffic.

On Wednesday, construction company Murray & Roberts, responsible for the construction of the scaffolding, said in a statement there was still no clarity on the cause. Its directors and CEO had gone to the scene, with the immediate priority ensuring those affected were taken care of.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  joburg bridge collapse

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