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Charlotte Maxeke Hospital roof collapses during construction work

The collapsed roof at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital

At least five people were confirmed injured when a section of the roof at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, in Parktown, Johannesburg, collapsed on Thursday afternoon while construction work to fix leaks was ongoing.

A rescue effort is underway at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital after the floor of the reception area collapsed, News24 reported on Thursday.

A portion of the roof of the hospital collapsed on Thursday afternoon.

Videos posted on social media show chaotic scenes inside the hospital ward.

"All I saw was the roof collapse, and then there was a lot of dust".

Structural defects, including persistent ceiling leaks because of faulty heating pipes, have long plagued the hospital with reports surfacing as far back as 2012 that the hospital was at risk of collapse.

The area was sealed off before the incident and about 12 people were working on the site.

"A spokesman from the Gauteng province Department of Health said: "[We] can confirm that there has been a structural collapse at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital today (2 March, 2017).

Democratic Alliance (DA) spokesperson on health in Gauteng, Jack Bloom, said the entire hospital must be urgently assessed to ensure it is safe.

Sharing a picture of the collapse on Twitter, he said: "The devastation at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital - I warned years ago that the hospital was structurally unsound". "Because of the weight it basically overweighted the roof and then it collapsed‚" he said.