Five South African structural collapses in 2016

The aftermath of the tornado in Tembisa. Picture: Emer-G-Med

The destruction caused by a tornado that ripped through Tembisa in July was one of this year’s most devastating.

The Citizen reported on a number of structural collapses in South Africa this year, with the weather playing its role in some of the incidents. We recap here five of these incidents that made headlines:

ALSO READ: Five structural collapses in Joburg

1. Mine collapse

In February, the Lily Mine in Barberton collapsed, trapping about 90 employees.

The Barberton Times reported that the miners were trapped after a service crown pillar close to the lamproom – the “last stop” where miners receive lamps and safety packs before being lowered underground – had collapsed.

Watch a video of the mine’s Mike Begg describing the collapsed site:

In October, the ANA reported that 87 of the underground workers were brought to the surface but that three workers remained unaccounted for.

READ MORE: Eight months of no answers on Lily Mine collapse

2. Water tank collapse

In March, a holidaymaker from Benoni died after a water tank caused a structural collapse at an Illovo Beach residence in KwaZulu-Natal.

At the time, Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha was quoted by the South Coast Sun as saying: “Reports from the scene indicate a water tank on the roof of an outside toilet filled after Tuesday’s heavy rain. As the weight increased, it caused the structure to collapse.

“Tragically he died at the scene due to the extensive injuries he sustained,” said Botha.

READ MORE: Tourist killed in water tank collapse

3. Restaurant roof collapses in Sandton, Johannesburg

Also in March, one person sustained serious injuries after a structural collapse at Newscafé in Woodmead, Gauteng.

The general manager of Newscafé, Alex Ling, told the Sandton Chronicle at the time that the restaurant was undergoing renovations there were no builders on the roof at the time of the collapse.

The only injured person was the designer of the renovations, who was under the roof when it collapsed, said Ling.

READ MORE: Woodmead Newscafé roof collapses

4. Mall roof and hospital carports damaged in Tembisa

A tornado ripped through Tembisa, on the East Rand, in July and caused a portion of the Phumulani Mall to collapse – injuring 20 people. It also destroyed the fence and carports at the Tembisa Hospital. There were 20 vehicles damaged at the hospital too. The tornado also caused damage to the roof of the Total garage on RTJ Mamani Road.

A video posted on Tembisan showed the debris flying over houses in the township:

READ MORE: 20 injured in tornado structural collapse

5. Staging collapse at Sandton construction site

Two people were injured in a structural collapse at a construction site in Sandton in November.

Emer-G-Med spokesperson Max Cohen said when paramedics arrived on the scene, they found that a large scaffolding on the side of the building had collapsed and two workers were “heavily entrapped”.

The Aveng Grinaker-LTA Trencon joint venture confirmed there was a staging collapse at its Stella Road construction site in Sandton, which resulted in the unfortunate injury of two construction workers.

READ MORE: Emergency incidents at two Sandton construction sites

Caxton News Service

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