South Africa. Forty workers were on site when an office they were building collapsed on Thursday in Little Falls close to Johannesburg. Four workers were trapped inside the remains of the 20m-high building that claimed the lives of two others.
Fifteen workers were rescued and transported to hospital after sustaining injuries during the fall.
One had to be airlifted to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital with serious injuries.
‘When I looked I realised that the building was shaking and moving’
Joburg Emergency Services spokesperson, Percy Morokane said
An eyewitness, Stallo Paraskeva, told The Star that she was sitting in the balcony a few metres away when she heard a "hectic rumble".
"I thought the noise might be coming from the basement. When I looked I realised that the building was shaking and moving. Soon after, the building collapsed," she said.
Paraskeva said she saw panicking construction workers – who had been on the roof – jumping down. She said those who were inside seemed to have been trapped.
Workers who managed to jump down ran, trying to help their colleagues, she said, adding that she then called the emergency services.
A shaken builder who was on the roof when the building collapsed said he jumped and ran to try to help his colleagues who were working inside.
"We were scared to go inside because we were not sure whether the rest of the building was going to collapse," he said, claiming that they saw some cracks on the building when they arrived at work yesterday morning and reported this to the foreman.
He said the foreman called the construction owner who then summoned inspectors to the site. The inspectors apparently said it was safe for the workers to continue working.
Source: The Star
By Solly Maphumulo
16 October 2008