Tongaat: Construction firm 'cut corners'

It’s alleged the company responsible for the mall’s construction had no approved building plans.

Emergency and construction workers among the rubble at the site of a collapsed mall in Tongaat, KwaZulu-Natal, on 19 November 2013. Picture: @Mariolungelo/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - As the search for survivors of a mall collapse in Tongaat in KwaZulu-Natal continues, eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo says the company behind the mall's construction had no approved building plans.

At least one person has been confirmed dead and 29 others were left injured.

The collapsed mall in Tongaat, KwaZulu-Natal, on 19 November 2013. Picture: @DesErasmus1/Twitter.

Yesterday afternoon a concrete slab the size of a soccer field caved in while workers were changing shifts.

Nxumalo says several court orders have been obtained against the company responsible for the mall's construction this year and it was instructed to stop all operations last week.

"On 26 September, we went to court and secured an interim order stopping the company from construction, and on 14 November, we got the final court order."

It's not yet known how many people were in the building at the time of the accident.

Rubble at the site of the collapsed mall in Tongaat. Picture: @CrisisMedDbn/Twitter.

Rescue teams are using sniffer dogs to search through the rubble to find any more people who may have been trapped.

They have identified a hot spot in the rubble and are using the jaws of life to remove debris from the scene.

Emergency and construction workers among the rubble at the site of the collapsed mall. Picture: @Mariolungelo/Twitter.

Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.