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South Africa Mall Rescue Suspended

by 20/11/2013 18:20:00 0 comments 721 Views
South Africa Mall Rescue Suspended
South Africa Mall

Rescue efforts in South Africa have been suspended at the site a collapsed half-built mall, police say.

Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane told the BBC that the search for survivors would resume after some of the concrete blocks were cleared.

One person has died and there are fears that some construction workers, possibly 40, are trapped in the rubble at the site in Tongaat town.

About 30 people have been rescued, some with traumatic injuries, medics say.

Capt Zwane said 11 of those taken to hospitals in the area are critically injured.

Map

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 in Tongaat, which is a small town about 40km (25 miles) north of Durban.

"There are areas of the law that they [construction firms] did not follow in terms of building," Nomvuzo Shabalala told broadcaster ENCA.

"We were not aware that they were continuing building," she added.

On Wednesday morning, engineers from the department of labour arrived and are now using heavy machinery to remove concrete blocks.

Medics say the collapsed roof is about the size of a rugby field.

The department of labour, which is now leading the operation, says work will continue throughout the night and it is hoped all the rubble and debris will have been removed by Thursday morning.

Overnight on Tuesday six different rescue teams alternated shifts, working in the dark and using sniffer dogs and fibre-optic cameras to try to find survivors.

Emergency workers are seen during their search for survivors after a building collapsed in Tongaat

Site of the collapse in Tongaat at night- tweeted by @CrisisMedDbnSite of the collapse in Tongaat - tweeted by @CrisisMedDbnSite of the collapse in Tongaat - tweeted by @CrisisMedDbn

 

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