Three killed, two missing in KwaZulu-Natal sand bank collapse

Three killed
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Three construction workers have been killed after a bank collapsed on them at Zen Drive in Ballito, Durban. Two others are still entrapped.

It is not yet clear what caused the collapse.

IPSS Search and Rescue Spokesperson Samantha Meyrick says the scene is still active and residents should use alternate routes.

“IPSS Search and Rescue together with IPSS Medical Rescue, and Arcadia Fire Department are currently on a scene of a construction site in Zen Drive in Ballito. Reports indicate that a bank collapsed, trapping 5 contractors underneath the soil. Three victims have been located, but sadly they have been declared deceased on the scene. A further 2 victims are still missing. The search and recovery has been called off to allow safety systems to be put in place to protect rescuers. This is an ongoing scene, a portion of Zen Drive being closed for Emergency services. We urge residents to avoid the area if possible.”

Rescue efforts call off

Rescue efforts have been temporarily called off at a construction site due to safety concerns. Emergency services are having difficulty in locating the other two construction workers as several parts of the banks continue to collapse.

Rescue teams are waiting for specialised equipment to arrive on the scene so that the area can be secured and the other two construction workers can be retrieved.

A portion of Zen Drive has been closed off to traffic. Meyrick says the scene is still active.

“At this time it is very difficult to say how long is this going to take. There have been multiple further collapses of the bank. So the scene has been declared unsafe, and has been evacuated. We have rescuers from multiple agencies on the scene working together. They are busy setting up safety systems and trying to improve the safety of the scene so the bodies of the victims can be recovered.”