Africa

Tongaat mall collapse: South Africa rescue resumes

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Media captionThe BBC's Milton Nkosi: "Trains are still running perilously close to the site"

Rescue efforts have resumed at the scene of a collapsed South African shopping centre, with heavy machines trying to clear mounds of rubble.

Sniffer dogs are trying to locate any construction workers who may have been trapped at the site in Tongaat town.

One person has died and there were initially fears that up to 40 workers may have been caught under the rubble.

But officials say there is now just one person unaccounted for. The police have opened a case of culpable homicide.

They say more charges may follow.

The cause of the collapse is not known.

Investigators have not been allowed on the site as it has not been declared safe.

Officials on the ground have told the BBC that it is unclear how many people are still trapped under the mall which was three stories high.

Tongaat's deputy mayor has told local media that authorities had obtained an injunction a month ago to halt construction at the site, which is about 40km (25 miles) north of Durban, after it flouted some construction regulations.

Local officials say the mall's building plans had not been approved, with concerns raised that the site was not suitable for a structure of that size.

The construction firm has not yet commented on the allegations but The Witness newspaper is reporting the centre's owner said in court papers a month ago that no people on site or members of the public were in danger.

About 30 people have been rescued, some with traumatic injuries, medics say.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Paramedics at the scene said some of the workers had suffered "massive injuries"
Image copyright Crisis Medical Durban
Image caption Those trapped are believed to be construction workers
Image copyright Crisis Medical Durban
Image caption Workers are trapped amid scaffolding and rubble

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