Meyersdal: Negligence a suspected cause

The Department of Labour is investigating whether negligence was the possible cause of the collapse.

The scene where nine people were killed in a house that collapsed at the Meyersdal Eco Estate. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Labour Department is expected to report this week whether or not negligence played a role in the collapse of a double storey house in Meyersdal.

Seven construction workers who were renovating the building died yesterday, while several others were taken to hospital.

The search for those believed to still be trapped under the rubble resumed this morning.

The department's Mokgadi Pela said, "If there's any negligence on the part of anyone, the department would obviously recommend prosecution."

The families of at least five workers who are still missing say they are bracing themselves for the worst.

Dudu Mtembu's brother-in-law Frans Kekana is believed to be one of the construction workers still trapped under the rubble.

She says her brother, who works with Frans, described the scene to her.

"I don't think he survived, after seeing the pictures my brother showed me and how he told me it looks. Right now we are just preparing for the worst because the people who were there told us to forget about him being alive."

Eleven other workers have survived and are being given counselling.

A construction team was renovating the double-storey house when it caved in.

Rescue workers spent several hours searching the rubble for survivors on Monday, but poor light resulted in the search being postponed until this morning.

Ekurhuleni Emergency Services spokesperson William Ntladi says, "The time has not yet been set, but 10am will be the latest."

At least five workers have not been accounted for.

A part of the house collapsed, damaging one of the neighbour's properties.