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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

One waste picker dead, others missing as Ennerdale landfill site caves in

The search and recovery operation is underway at the Ennerdale landfill site

Johannesburg Emergency Services have recovered the body of a waste picker and are searching for at least two more bodies that may be buried under rubbish at the Ennerdale landfill site, south of Johannesburg.

It is understood more than five waste pickers were at the landfill site rummaging through waste on Thursday when a mountain of rubbish caved in on them.


Joburg Emergency Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi told The Citizen the circumstances surrounding the accident are being investigated.

“Our search and recovery operation is underway at the Ennerdale landfill site. This morning our rescue workers managed to recover one body of a waste picker.

“Yesterday afternoon the rescue workers managed to rescue two waste pickers, one was unharmed and another one was injured. He was transported to Chris Hani Baragwaneth Hospital for further medical care,” Mulaudzi said.

waste picker killed Ennerdale landfill site caves in
Photo: Joburg Emergency Services

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More bodies

Mulaudzi said there may have been more waster pickers at the landfill site when the accident happened.

“At this stage, we don’t know the exact number of waste pickers who were around the area when the incident occurred. So, our rescue workers are still continuing with the search and recovery operation.”

Muluadzi said they have roped in Pikitup to bring in a grader to assist Joburg Emergency Services in the recovery operation as they search for other bodies.

Fire in Joburg

Meanwhile, Joburg emergency services have confirmed it evacuated the Johannesurg city’s metro centre after a fire broke out on Friday morning.

EMS spokesperson Xolile Khumalo said the fire was reported shortly before 8am on the council building’s ground floor.

“Everyone is safe and no injuries have been reported. We are evacuating the building. EMS technicians are ventilating the building and are investigating what happened,” she said.

Khumalo said the cause of the fire is being investigated and a report will be issued once the probe is completed.

ALSO READ: A day in life of a waste picker

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