Premium Journalist
2 minute read
15 Oct 2015
7:34 am

M1 remains closed after Grayston bridge collapse (gallery)


The M1 Freeway near the Grayston bridge, which leads into Sandton, remained closed Thursday morning as investigations into the collapse of a pedestrian bridge which was under construction intensified.

Paramedics and firemen work to extricate a passenger of a taxi after a scaffolding bridge collapsed on the M1 next to the Grayston Ave offramp in Sandton, 14 October 2015. Two people died and 23 people were injured when the scaffolding fell on the busy highway. Pic Neil McCartney

The “Great Walk” bridge that was being built by Murray & Roberts collapsed Wednesday afternoon killing two people and injuring 23 others. Officials from the department of labour were on the scene to probe the cause of the bridge collapse.

Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau on Thursday morning said a third person who had been injured in the bridge collapse had died. “We offer our condolences to the family … we will be going to the hospital,” said Tau, who was on the scene of the collapsed pedestrian bridge.

Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau’s spokesperson, Phindile Chauke, said early Thursday morning that the M1 remains closed. Commuters were being urged to use the Gautrain and buses to and from Sandton.

The remains of the collapsed bridge had not yet been completely removed, Chauke told 702 Talk Radio. She said buses taking part in the ongoing Ecomobility World Festival would be free. Chauke said other transporters including Putco, Gauteng buses, Metrorail and Uber taxi had offered to assist commuters.

Both lanes of the M1 near the Grayston bridge remained closed and the Ecomobility Festival, which restricts motorists from entering Sandton City had been suspended for the day. Last night the ANC expressed its condolences to the families of the deceased and called for an immediate investigation.

“The ANC calls for urgent investigation by the department of transport and the department of labour on the circumstances that led to the collapse of temporary bridge in Sandton this afternoon resulting in death and injury of people,” said Zizi Kodwa, the national spokesperson.

“We believe that big construction companies should have the technical capacity to circumvent such occurrences. We must not allow negligence of those who trade human lives for profits.”

President Jacob Zuma extended condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. “The President further wished those who were injured during the accident a speedy recovery. He has directed the authorities to swiftly investigate the cause of the accident,” said Zuma.

The president has also urged construction companies to “always take necessary precautions to protect workers and the public during the construction phases to avoid such tragic accidents”.