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Two construction workers narrowly escaped death when a wall collapsed on them while digging a trench on Buldana Road in Merewent, south of Durban, on Wednesday.
Emergency rescue services said Daves Naidoo and Zondisile Zulu were trapped under the rubble for hours.
Derrick Banks, spokesman for ER24, said Naidoo had his legs trapped while Zulu had concrete and a huge amount of soil over him. "Naidoo was lucky enough to be freed within an hour and a half of the incident. He was rushed to Entabeni Hospital.
"Zulu was trapped for over five hours. Emergency workers had to be extremely careful in removing him due to the unstable house which was still hanging over him.
"He was eventually freed and airlifted to Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital by the Red Cross Air Mercy Services in a stable condition."
Eye witness Thelma Sabelo said they only heard a big bang on the other side of the houses. "Upon our inspection, we realised that the wall of the house had collapsed on the workers. We could not do anything because bricks were covering them," she said.
Sabelo said the men should thank their ancestors after they escaped the ordeal with their lives. The other man was buried for more than five hours. He couldn't talk but was only sweating," she said.
Local police confirmed the incident saying it was unclear what caused the wall to fall.
In a separate accident, a man died and two other people were injured, including a little boy, when two cars collided on the N2 North near the Tongaat Toll Plaza.
It is alleged that the driver of a Fiat Palio lost control of his vehicle, went over a centre lane and crashed into the oncoming Jetta.
Banks said the driver of the Jetta died on the scene while the little boy was airlifted by helicopter to a nearby hospital in a serious condition.
"Both vehicles were literally smashed to pieces. The driver of a Fiat Palio was treated and stabilised on the scene before being taken to hospital," said Banks.