Preliminary investigations suggest site of trench collapse may not have been officially registered

Five men have been killed on a South African construction site after a trench collapsed.

Inspectors are currently probing circumstances surrounding the incident, but it is believed one worker was in the five-metre-deep trench when the excavated sand fell on him.

Four of his co-workers tried to help him out, but the entire trench then collapsed on them.

The five victims had been digging the trench to install sewerage pipes at Ntha township, near Pretoria, in the Free State.

Work at the site was halted following the accident.

Preliminary investigations have found the employer had not registered the construction site with the department of labour, according to reports in South African newspaper, The Citizen.