Three die after Durban building collapses on truck

2018-03-28 13:42
Two people are trapped under a building that collapsed on a truck in Wentworth, south of Durban. (Rescue Care)

Two people are trapped under a building that collapsed on a truck in Wentworth, south of Durban. (Rescue Care)

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Investigations are underway after three people were killed when a two storey building, which was under construction, collapsed onto a truck carrying tiles in Jacobs, Durban.

Construction workers were busy at the site on Chamberlin Road around midday when tragedy struck.

"There were a few of them [construction workers] that were busy and others were at lunch. But it came down so quickly and many people got hurt. It was a sad scene. People were scared," an eyewitness that works near the building told News24 shortly after the collapse on Wednesday.

The man, who did not want to be identified, said panic ensued.

"Everyone was very stressed. When it ... happened, we hoped it was just small injuries, but it was bad."

Labour Department spokesperson Lungelo Mkamba told News24 that occupational safety and health inspectors from the department were on site.

"We have dispatched our team. The details surrounding what led to the collapse are unclear ... for now, that is all we can say."

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said that the injured were between the ages of 35 and 40 years old.

"We are not sure what caused this, but the various departments and emergency services have been on site. Once we receive a detailed report, we can share more about what caused this tragedy."

EMS spokesperson Robert Mckenzie said paramedics treated five patients at the scene for injuries ranging from critical to serious.

"Emergency services are still at the scene. The exact reason and circumstances resulting in the collapse are not known at this stage and are being investigated by the relevant authorities."

Recovery efforts were expected to continue through most of Wednesday night after an industrial crane was brought to the site to remove parts of the collapsed wall and rubble.

A large crowd had gathered around the site after news of the accident spread on social media. Traffic in the area was also negatively affected as emergency services with specialised vehicles made their way to assist. 

The families of the deceased are believed to be from outside South Africa.

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