Man Crushed to Death
2008 Reader Submission
Darwin says, "Accepted into the Archive."
FOR several days Johannesburg office workers watched a construction worker chipping away at a pillar supporting the concrete slab above him -- until it collapsed yesterday, crushing the man to death.
"I cannot believe they did not foresee this," a shocked witness, Kenneth Jones, said. "Surely they knew you should not be underneath when you are chipping away at the pillar holding up the structure?
"Did those guys not realise it was going to happen?" said Jones, who works in a building next to the Lindsay Saker showroom, on the corner of Oxford and Bolton roads in Rosebank, where the slab fell in just after 9.30am.
Ishmael Makone, 52, was killed instantly, trapped in the cab of his mini-excavator. He was a father of three.
Jones and other office workers had been following the progress of the showroom’s demolition for a number of days.
He said: "I was interested because I wondered how they would drop that section. They had pushed out the walls and only the supporting pillars were left. When they were chipping away at the pillar they were directly underneath the slab and it was already sagging.
"There was no common sense.
"The operator would not have known the danger he was in; he was just following the orders of the foremen. The next thing, he was under a pile of rubble."
Makone had 12 years’ experience operating mini-excavators.
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Submitted on 10/09/2008
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