TONGAAT, South Africa: Rescue workers called off the search for survivors at a collapsed South African building site on Wednesday, believing there are no more trapped construction workers beneath the half-built shopping mall.
One person was killed and dozens injured in Tuesday’s collapse of the three-storey building in Tongaat, 30 km north of Durban.
“The entire operation has been stopped and handed over to the Department of Labour,” police spokeswoman Mandy Govender told reporters at the site.
Initial reports suggested as many as 50 workers might have been trapped under the rubble but rescue officials, working through the night with sniffer dogs, recovered only one body and discovered no survivors.
The cause of the collapse remains unclear. District mayor James Nxumalo said local authorities had obtained a series of court injunctions, the latest on Nov. 14, to halt construction.
The owner of the site has been identified as a South African businessman who is well-known in Durban, the second-largest city in South Africa and home to a large ethnic Indian population.