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

2019-07-09 11:37
Rescue workers at the trench in Sunningdale (Supplied)

Rescue workers at the trench in Sunningdale (Supplied)

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The bodies of three construction workers have been retrieved from a trench which collapsed on them in Sunningdale, Cape Town, authorities said on Tuesday.

The men - aged 22, 40 and 53 - had been laying pipes as part of a new road construction in Sandown Road on Monday evening when the trench collapsed on them, Western Cape police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk.

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

"The sand fell on top of them while they were inside the trench," said the City's fire and rescue service spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse.

He 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.

(Supplied)

(Supplied)

A fourth colleague was initially reported as unaccounted for.

But Carelse said on Tuesday that there was a misunderstanding and a roll call confirmed all were accounted for.

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.

(Supplied)

(Supplied)

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