Rescue workers are currently searching for two people trapped inside the Charlotte Maxeke academic hospital in Johannesburg after part of the hospital roof collapsed on Thursday afternoon.
While details are still sketchy‚ emergency services and the Gauteng Department of Health confirmed that it was a structural collapse.
The department said in a statement: “The collapse took place in the passage near maternity department on the hospital street. At this stage, we can neither confirm the number of injuries nor what caused the collapse.
Emergency Medical Services are at the scene. The Department will update the public continuously as we get more information on the incident.”
Reports have it that a contractor was working on fixing the roof before the incident occurred. EMS spokesperson Nana Radebe disclosed that about 12 people got 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.
“I heard a bang and then the roof collapsed. I was on my way to the pharmacy when it happened. I’m glad I didn’t make it all the way in,” she said.
A 15-year-old patient, who was in the hospital to see her dentist said she couldn’t believe her eyes when the roof collapsed.
“I was late for my appointment at the dentist. I was about to go in when it happened. In my mind, I didn’t think the roof would fall. I’m lost for words.
All I saw was the roof collapse, and then there was a lot of dust. I could just hear people scream and then we came outside. I’m glad I wasn’t trapped inside, but I still feel really bad for the people trapped inside.”
Meanwhile, MMC for Public Safety Michael Sun said emergency services have been dispatched to assist with any possible injuries.