3 Killed as Bridge Collapses

By Liezel Hill                                                                                              


Tag: Murray & Roberts in deep water …read more


(Bloomberg) — Murray & Roberts Holdings Ltd. has hired independent consultants to help with an investigation into the fatal collapse of the scaffolding structure for a bridge being built over a freeway by South Africa’s second-largest construction company.

Murray & Roberts shares dropped 7.3 percent on Wednesday after the company confirmed it was responsible for construction of the pedestrian bridge. It’s too early to speculate about the cause of the accident, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Henry Laas said by phone on Thursday.

Bystanders look on as paramedics try to free passengers trapped in a taxi after a bridge collapsed on the M1 highway near a busy off ramp leading to Sandton

South Africa October 14, 2015. Three people were killed and 17 were injured when a bridge collapsed over Johannesburg’s main motorway on Wednesday, local emergency services said. The tangled wreckage of the metal, red-coloured bridge was sprawled across Johannesburg’s M1 highway near a busy off ramp leading to the Sandton financial district where the stock exchange is located, snarling rush-hour traffic. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

“It is in everybody’s interest to get to the root cause of this incident as quickly as possible so that we know what went wrong here and that we can prevent something like this from ever happening again,” Laas said. “It is going to take time, we don’t want to jump to a conclusion but we want to get answers as soon as possible.”

The freeway, which feeds Johannesburg’s financial district, remained closed on Thursday morning while the clearing operation continued. The Department of Labour will conduct a separate investigation on behalf of the authorities, Laas said. Murray & Roberts was informed that a third person had died, he said.

The steel support structure which collapsed had been assembled off site in four main pieces, Laas said. The erection had only recently been completed when the collapse occurred.

The investigations could take months, although “hopefully not that long,” he said.

Check out Eyewitness News, a pod recording of Murray and Roberts representative squirming under interrogation from Redi Tlhabi Cape Talk