South Africa mall collapse: One dead and dozens injured by wreckage of half-built Durban shopping centre
Search and rescue operation called off after officials find just one body and no survivors in rubble
At least one person was killed and dozens injured after a half-built shopping centre collapsed near Durban, South Africa on Tuesday afternoon.
Large numbers of construction workers were on site when a huge section of the unfinished building caved in, thought to be about the size of a football pitch, and was feared to have left many trapped in the rubble.
It is thought that 29 people were taken to hospital in the town of Tongaat, some 20 miles north of the coastal city of Durban, with a number said to have suffered "massive traumatic injuries".
A rescue team worked through the night and into the morning picking through the rubble, but the search operation was called off today after no survivors were found or bodies added to the one confirmed death last night.
"The scene is extremely horrific ... concrete big blocks have fallen on to people," said Chris Botha, a spokesman for the Netcare 911 emergency service.
Last night he spoke from the scene, telling broadcaster ENCA that the second floor of the structure had given way.
"The guys are busy using hydraulic rescue equipment to break through the concrete and get to some of the patients," he said.
While the cause of the collapse remains unclear, unconfirmed reports suggest the company building the mall had received a number of injunctions from local authorities - the latest on 14 November - ordering it to halt construction.
District mayor James Nxumalo told Talk Radio 702: "It looks like the company violated all of those court orders and now this tragedy happened."
Local media reports suggested that if safety regulations had indeed been flouted, and if South Africa's powerful unions were to suffer a high death toll among their workers as a result, it could be disastrous for the record of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) as it moves towards a general election next year.
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 3 Father of 12 accused of raping, beating, starving and abusing his own children in US 'cult'
- 4 Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...
£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...
£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...