KZN workers in brush with death as trench collapses

Jeff Wicks, News24

Durban - Three construction workers were trapped beneath tons of mud and soil when a trench they were working in collapsed at a site in Mount Moriah near Durban on Tuesday.

It is understood that the three were part of a team excavating for a water pipeline when the trench wall gave way, pinning them against the concrete pipe.

IPSS Medical Rescue spokesperson Paul Herbst said paramedics as well as the police’s Search and Rescue Unit had responded to the scene.

“Obviously, following several days of heavy rains, the ground is extremely waterlogged and highly unstable. The three workers were inside the trench when the wall caved in and all the soil and mud struck them and had the three men partially buried while pressed up against the pipe,” he said.

Herbst said in the wake of the landslide, EMS personnel rushed to the aid of the workers and began digging them out by hand.

“Obviously, keeping in mind the danger of further collapses and working safely around that, we began to extricate the trapped men and also monitored them medically.

“Once we had them out, they were treated and stabilised at the scene and transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital,” he added.

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