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Tragedy hits Sandown

Three construction workers died when a trench in which they were laying pipes collapsed on top of them.

The incident occurred in Sandown Road, Sunningdale on Monday 8 July.

Several emergency teams responded to the call including Netcare 911, the City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue and Waste Management services, the Table View and Parklands neighbourhood watches, Community Medics, Metro Rescue, forensic pathology services and the local police.

The three workers passed away at the scene, says Captain Adriana Chandler, Table View police spokesperson.

This was also confirmed by Shawn Herbst, spokesperson for Netcare 911.

“An attempt to rescue the men was conducted by Metro Rescue and Metro Ambulance. Sadly, the men were declared deceased on the scene by emergency services,” Herbst says. An inquest was registered.

Chandler says the the construction workers were part of a crew currently busy with roadworks on Sandown Road towards Malibongwe Drive.

“During the construction three employees were killed when they were busy laying pipes in the trench, the trench then collapsed on top of them.

“Rescue attempts by their colleagues were unsuccessful,” says Chandler.

She says the bodies of the three men were retrieved.

“They were declared dead by a medical person.” The retrieval process took some time and the road had to be closed off to motorists.

“This was done with the help of Table View Neighbourhood Watch volunteers who also issued an alert on Facebook in which they requested motorists to make use of alternative routes.

“This is a real tragedy and brings into light how we should focus on what is really important and what really matters before it’s too late,” Laura Outhet, spokesperson of the Table View Neighbourhood Watch, says.

The organisation says it would like to express their sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the people who lost their lives.

“Our volunteers were among the first on scene and assisted in closing off the road and maintaining a safe perimeter for the emergency crews to do their work. 

“Volunteers redirected traffic and bystanders and relayed any information across radio networks for additional resources to be dispatched.

“Our trauma counsellors were also called to the scene to provide support,” Outhet says. She adds that through the heartache of this terrible tragedy they were overwhelmed at the support received by local companies who provided warm beverages and snacks to those on the scene who worked through the night. 

“All the various organisations stood together and provided support,” Outhet says.

A full investigation will be performed by the construction company as to the cause of the incident.

According to the police the bodies were taken to Salt River Mortuary. Two of the men were from Khayelitsha and one from Milnerton. They are between the ages of 22, 40, and 53 years.

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