Meyersdal: Search for bodies continues

A house in the Meyersdal Eco Estate collapsed during construction with more than 20 workers on site.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Emergency crews are this morning expected to continue searching for more bodies trapped inside a collapsed house in the Meyersdal Eco Estate, south of Johannesburg.

So far, seven bodies have been recovered and a number of workers have been taken to hospital.

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."

It's still unclear what caused the house to collapse.

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

Eleven other workers have survived and are being given counselling.

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

More than 20 workers were on site at the time.

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.