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Engineers meet over mall collapse

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IOL pic apr2 tongaat mall collapse file

Associated Press

Paramedics walk towards the Tongaat Mall on November 19, 2013. Rescue teams rushed to the construction site after part of the mall collapsed. File picture: AP

Durban - Engineers involved in the commission of inquiry into the collapse of the Tongaat mall, north of Durban, were meeting on Wednesday to discuss the cause of the disaster.

Earlier in the day, the engineers who are to be cross-examined on the report into the collapse, visited the site for further investigations.

They were among a party of 36, including the president of the commission Phumudzo Maphaha, his two co-presidents, lawyers, and journalists.

Two people were killed and 29 workers injured when the partly constructed mall collapsed on November 19 last year.

The visit was to allow the engineer for the contractor, Gralio, and the design engineer to point something out.

After the hour-long site visit, the party returned to the commission of inquiry's venue at the Tongaat municipal building. Maphaha said he would see if engineers needed time to fine-tune their report.

Ed Wheatley, the independent engineer for the insurers, said based on what transpired at the construction site, all the engineers needed to meet. They recently met twice, but needed to get together again to find common ground.

Lawyer Richard Hoal, for the design engineers, said Rob Young, Gralio's engineer, had raised concerns earlier in the week that could make some calculations incorrect.

Maphaha said there were three possible causes for the collapse, involving a beam or two columns.

The partly-built mall has to be knocked down following a high court order made days before the collapse.

The commission continues on Thursday.

Sapa


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