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Fri December 04 2020

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Search for survivors continues in South African construction collapse

20 Nov 13 The search for survivors continues at the site of the fatal collapse of a shopping centre under construction in South Africa and investigations into the cause have begun.

On Tuesday afternoon at about 4.30pm, a large concrete slab collapsed at the construction site near Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, killing one person and injuring dozens. About 30 were taken to hospital yesterday, many with major injuries.

Emergency and rescue services and police have been using sniffer dogs to help locate any further survivors in the rubble and hydraulic rescue equipment to break through the concrete blocks.

The Department of Labour has sent a high-level delegation to the scene of yesterday’s collapse and the local authority has begun an investigation. KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu said that he was confident that all the relevant departments such as the Department of Labour and Ethekwini Municipality will help speed up an investigation into the causes of the accident.

It is still unclear how many workers were at the site when it collapsed, but it is believed that 50 people had been trapped in the rubble. The local emergency services reported that one person, a woman, had died and 29 people had been taken to hospital on Tuesday.

The deputy mayor of the municipality told South African media that authorities had obtained an injunction a month ago to halt construction at the site as it was not in accordance with the permitted terms.

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