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 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway in dense fog
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway in dense fog
George Clooney and Amal fail to get special treatment at New York restaurant
Cindy Crawford 'un-PhotoShopped' viral Marie Claire image was doctored, photographer claims
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£15000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Waterlooville based softwa...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Developer (C#, VB & ASP.Net, SQL Server, TSQL) - Pe...
£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Associate Sales Consultant i...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established and expanding ...