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Alberton collapse: Rescue teams search for trapped people

Emergency services confirmed this afternoon that 9 people have been killed in the accident.

The Meyersdal building collapse where nine construction workers were confirmed dead on 18 August, 2014. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - As the death toll from a building collapse at the Meyersdal Eco Estate rises, emergency services are working to free those still trapped beneath the rubble while a delegation from the Department of Labour is en route to the scene.

Emergency services confirmed this afternoon that nine people have been killed in the accident.

The building caved in earlier today while more than 20 construction workers were on site.

Two construction companies were on site when the building collapsed but only one has accounted for all its workers.

Ekurhuleni Emergency Services spokesperson William Ntladi says, "There were two contractors on site but we can only account for one contractor."

The labour department says harsh action will be taken if negligence is found to have been the cause of the collapse.

Eyewitness News has leant that 11 construction workers have survived the collapse and are now receiving counselling.

It's not yet clear what caused the collapse but structural engineers have arrived with the police's K-9 unit to assist in the search for more people trapped under rubble.

Ntladi says they will work into the night until all the workers have been accounted for.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant has conveyed her condolences to the families of the victims.

Her spokesperson Mokgadi Pela says, "The minister has sent condolences to the families and wished a speedy recovery to those who are still in hospital."

Pictures by EWN.