Grayston bridge: Expert denies poor workmanship caused collapse

Mostert said the couplers used to hold the scaffolding together were not up to standard.

FILE: An aerial view of the scene of the collapsed temporary bridge over the M1 in Sandton where scaffolding caved in passing cars, killing three people and injuring 22. Picture: Aki Anastasiou/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - An expert testifying on behalf of Murray & Robert's has denied that poor workmanship was to blame for the deadly collapse of the scaffolding surrounding the Grayston Bridge on the M1.

Two people were killed and 19 others were injured when the temporary structure came crashing down on the busy highway last year.

The enquiry into the collapse resumed yesterday at the Labour Department in Pretoria.

Professor Roelf Mostert, an engineer specialising in materials, was Murray & Roberts' first witness.

Mostert said the couplers used to hold the metal structures together were not up to standard.

"The failure of the couplers was a consequence of pull out action that is the force that caused the failure acted in a direction, such, that the two halves of the couplers were pulled apart."

The alleged poor couplers were provided by building materials company, Formscaff.

The company, however, plans to prove that it was poor workmanship that caused the accident.