Gauteng’s Infrastructure Development member of the Executive council (MEC) Jacob Mamabolo blames hospital contractors for the sudden roof collapse at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital.
Mamabolo who was speaking at an impromptu press conference held at the hospital after a reported case of the hospital building collapse, said the building contractors are to be blamed for the unpleasant event, thus they must be invited for questioning.
The roof collapse in Charlotte Maxeke, according to the provincial heath department, took place in the passage near maternity department on the hospital street with a number of patients badly wounded.
The Health department confirmed that it was a structural collapse and the Emergency Medical Service noted that a contractor was working on fixing the roof before the incident occurred.
As at the time of evacuation, EMS spokesperson Nana Radebe disclosed that about 12 people were trapped and that two people are still missing.
Eyewitnesses at the scene also said they saw a body removed from the rubble. A woman who simply identified herself as Nomsa said she was standing near the lift when she heard a noise, saw some dust and then a louder noise.
Meanwhile, Mamabolo further explained that the Charlotte Maxeke contractor who was hired to waterproof the roof had moved “concrete” that was spread across the roof and piled it onto one section of roof‚ overloading that portion of the structure.
“They actually put it on the side. Because of the weight it basically overweighted the roof and then it collapsed‚” he said, adding that a preliminary investigation revealed that the contractor “did not do a proper check of the capacity of the structure of the buildings to carry that weight.
He also said the contractor had not placed the relevant warning signs at the hospital.
“It is very clear‚ the contractor‚ the manner in which they worked – they need to be held accountable‚” Mamabolo said.
He added that the contractor would be “removed off the site with immediate effect.”
“We are definitely going to hold them accountable to the questions that we’ve asked. They have got a case to answer. We will conduct a [sic] further investigation on any other issue‚” he said.
Mamabolo was joined by incoming Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa who said most of those injured had already been treated and discharged.
Earlier a doctor who works at the hospital told TimesLIVE that the roof was covered in gravel which was all moved across to a small section of the roof‚ causing that section to cave in.
Over seven people were injured during the incident, while two people are believed to be trapped.