At least five people were confirmed injured when a section of the roof at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, in Parktown, Johannesburg, collapsed on Thursday afternoon while construction work to repair leaks was ongoing.
According to the Gauteng Department of Health, the injured are made up of two construction workers, two members of the public and one hospital staff member.
The structural collapse of the roof section happened while private construction workers were filling in a leaking section of the roof at the hospital.
Emergency services are currently on the scene and working in the main entrance of the hospital where the incident happened and are digging to ascertain if there are no other people trapped under the rubble.
Gauteng MEC for health, Gwen Ramakgopa, and the Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, are both at the scene and would brief the media later.
Ramakgopa assured the public that the incident was confined to the main entrance of the hospital and as such, it had not affected other areas of the health facility.
Democratic Alliance (DA) spokesperson on health in Gauteng, Jack Bloom, said the entire hospital must be urgently assessed to ensure it is safe.
Bloom said he had raised the issue of structural defects on the building’s fifth floor before, which according to him, required R50 million worth of urgent repairs.
“Staff have told me that stones were moved onto the section of the roof which collapse onto the hospital street level,” Bloom said.
“Staff at the Hospital have warned in the past of the leaking Hospital roofs and other structural problems in the building.”
– African News Agency