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By Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor

SA’s deadly month of construction catastrophes: Ballito disaster raises death toll further

Specialised equipment has arrived at the site where five construction workers were buried under soil during a sand bank collapse on Saturday.

In the third construction-related disaster across three provinces this month, three construction workers have been confirmed dead and two more are still buried under the soil after an embankment collapsed at a Ballito construction site in Durban on Saturday morning.

It is not yet clear what caused the tragic collapse at the site in Zen Drive.

Rescue efforts have resumed after it was temporarily called off earlier as several parts of the banks were continuing to collapse.

Ballito sand bank collapse at construction site

Specialised equipment has since arrived on the scene to secure the area to retrieve the bodies of the other two construction workers.

IPSS Search and Rescue spokesperson Samantha Meyrick told SABC News the scene is still active and residents should use alternate routes.

“This is an ongoing scene, a portion of Zen Drive being closed for emergency services. We urge residents to avoid the area if possible.”

Meyrick confirmed that IPSS Search and Rescue, IPSS Medical Rescue and Arcadia Fire Department are currently on the scene of the construction site.

“Reports indicate that a bank collapsed, trapping five contractors underneath the soil. Three victims have been located, but sadly they have been declared deceased on the scene. A further two victims are still missing,” she said.

“At this time it is very difficult to say how long is this going to take. We have rescuers from multiple agencies on the scene working together.”

  • This is a developing story.

ALSO READ: Drama on Cape’s high seas: Nine plucked from ocean, 11 still missing as trawler sinks

Western Cape: George building collapse

This incident comes a day after search-and-rescue efforts were completed at the site of the George building collapse.

The shock collapse of an apartment building under construction in Victoria Street, in George on 6 May claimed 33 lives.

More than a thousand rescue, support, and volunteer workers were involved in the rescue operation which lasted 260 hours, with personnel working on a 24-hour basis.

Death toll in George building collapse tragedy rises, several unaccounted for
Rescue workers on the George building collapse site. Picture: George Municipality

According to the municipality’s latest update provided yesterday, 62 people were on the site when the building collapse occurred; 34 people were successfully rescued; 33 people passed away, including five people who were rescued, but later succumbed to their injuries in hospital.

The site has now been classified as a crime scene and has officially been handed over for a formal police investigation.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Ramaphosa calls for accountability for George building collapse

Eastern Cape: Ngcobo wall collapse

four people have been confirmed to have lost their lives when the wall of a shop collapsed on top of them in Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape on 10 May.

shop wall collapse Ngcobo Eastern Cape
The collapsed wall of a shop in Ngcobo. Picture: Facebook/ EC Health Dept

A further 13 people were rushed to All Saints Hospital where they are being treated for various injuries.

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