Investigators probing 'tragic' Cape Town trench collapse that left 3 dead

2019-07-09 13:53

The families and colleagues of three men who died when a trench collapsed on them in Cape Town are receiving counselling following the "tragic accident", Exeo Khokela Civil Engineering Construction said on Tuesday.

The workers had been installing a sewer line in Sandown Road at around 16:30 on Tuesday when a "side wall of the trench collapsed unexpectedly", the company said in a statement.

"A full, independent investigation into the incident is under way and a comprehensive report will be submitted to the Department of Labour within the next two weeks."

The company said it would not be releasing the names of the deceased.

"At this stage, the families are being contacted for assistance and the names of the deceased will not be made public. Our deepest condolences go out to their families and loved ones."

READ MORE | PICS: Colleagues tried to save 3 men killed after Cape Town trench collapsed

According to the company's website, it was awarded a R48m contract to do the dualing of a portion of Sandown Road, between Sunningdale Drive and Parklands Main Road.

The project involved relocating underground services from its current position and constructing a new carriageway for a future integrated rapid transport lane.

The men who died were aged 22, 40 and 53, according to Western Cape police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk.

He said their colleagues tried to rescue them but were unsuccessful.

The company indicated that those staff members involved in the rescue and recovery were also being counselled.

"Exeo would like to thank all those who worked deep into the night to assist with guidance, support, equipment and physical help."



The City's fire and rescue service spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse, said an added complication was that a water pipe had burst, which flooded the trench.

The rescue mission became a lengthy recovery mission and the last body was retrieved at 02:00 on Tuesday, said Carelse.

The community rallied together to support the officials on the scene.

"The neighbourhood watches were there, and they coordinated with refreshments and coffee. They were really helpful," said Ward 107 councillor Nicky Rheeder.

Van Wyk said that once the men's bodies were retrieved, they were taken to Salt River Mortuary.

Police are investigating an inquest.

GET THE NEWS at your fingertips and download the News24 app for Android or iPhone.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    cape town  |  table view  |  accident

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.