Picture: Rescue Care

Durban - The Department of Labour has confirmed it is investigating the circumstances that led to the collapse of a building in Wentworth, South of Durban, killing three people.

The Sunday Tribune reported earlier on Wednesday that two people had been killed in the building collapse, which left several other construction workers seriously injured when a wall collapsed onto a truck on Wednesday afternoon. 

The death toll has since risen to three.

Paramedics responded to the scene where they found construction workers trapped under the rubble.

Department of Labour spokesperson Teboho Thejane said a full investigation was underway.

“Details of the full incident are still unclear and remain a subject of investigations. However, it is alleged that the construction workers were conducting their duties at the warehouse when the building collapsed,” he said.

Read more: BREAKING: #DurbanBuildingCollapse kills at least two workers

Thejane confirmed three people were killed.

“The Department of Labour has dispatched a team of occupational health and safety inspectors to investigate the cause of the incident,” he said.

Thejane said if the employer was found to be in neglect or had flouted occupational safety regulations, recommendations would be made to the NPA to prosecute.

Meanwhile a report of the investigations into the 2013 Tongaat Mall collapse is yet to be made public. Two workers were killed, and 29 injured when the mall, which was still under construction, collapsed.

In 2014, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the mall’s collapse and it found several contraventions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and construction regulations.

The mall was being built by Gralio Precast, a company owned by businessman Jay Singh. The R208-million project was being developed by Rectangle Property Investments, whose sole director is Ravi Jagadasan, Singh’s son.

A decision to prosecute was still pending, according to KZN director of public prosecutions, advocate Moipone Noko.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE