14 May 2024, 00:02

22 people still missing as S.Africa building collapse death toll rises

JOHANNESBURG, May  13, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - The death toll from the collapse of
a building in South Africa has risen to 30, with another 22 people still
missing, authorities said Monday, a week after the structure came crashing down.

Rescuers pulled ten more bodies from the rubble at the site in the southern
city of George, city officials said.

Rescue teams have worked tirelessly since the five-storey apartment block,
which was under construction, suddenly collapsed last Monday.

Eighty-one people, mostly construction workers, were at the site at the
Twenty-nine people have been rescued so far.

They include a man who was pulled out on Saturday after 116 hours under the

"It is a miracle that we have all been hoping for," Western Cape provincial
premier Alan Winde said on X, formerly Twitter.

Search teams have vowed to comb every cavity among the wrecked building,
but the chances of survival are fading.

"Rescue and recovery efforts continue into a week to this day after the
incident took place," the George municipality said.

One minute's silence was held at 2:09 pm (1209 GMT) -- the exact time the
building collapsed seven days ago.

Authorities said they were implementing a plan to "expedite the
identification of the deceased" and requested relatives to come forward.

"We are experiencing difficulties in obtaining accurate names of
individuals missing or deceased," they said.

Some families have expressed frustration over the pace of the
identification process.

The municipality also called for psychologists fluent in Chewa, Portuguese
and Shona -- languages spoken in neighbouring Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe
-- to assist with counselling.

Previously, authorities declined to comment on speculation about whether
most of the crew were foreign nationals.

South Africa, the continent's most industrialised nation, has long
attracted migrants, who often come in search of employment without the correct

The reason for the collapse of the building, which was to include 42
apartments and had received planning permission, has not been established and
an inquiry is under way.


  • Latest News
  • Most View