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SA: Four dead, 51 still missing after George building collapse

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News24


  • Four people have been declared dead after a construction site collapsed in George.
  • The building collapsed on Monday afternoon.
  • More than 50 people are still missing.

Four bodies have been pulled from the rubble after a building collapsed in George in the Western Cape on Monday.

In an update early on Tuesday morning, the George Local Municipality confirmed that four people had been declared dead and another 20 had been rescued. Of those rescued, more than half have had serious injuries.

Authorities are still searching for 51 people.

The multi-storey construction site at 75 Victoria Street, which was next to the George municipality offices, collapsed shortly after 14:00 on Monday.

Multiple disaster service personnel, including police search-and-rescue teams with sniffer dogs, are currently involved in a rescue operation to retrieve the trapped construction workers.

Three teams of rescue personnel are working on three different areas within the site of the collapsed building.

The municipality said Victoria Street remains closed for access at the York Street intersection, as well as midway down the street. The Victoria Street gate to the George municipal building is not accessible to pedestrians or vehicles.

Municipal spokesperson Chantel Edwards-Klose said:

We request the public to please avoid this general area due to the constant presence of moving emergency vehicles and personnel.

 

Municipal manager Michele Gratz expressed her heartfelt appreciation for the organisations and individuals who have sprung into action to assist with the rescue operation.

“We thank everyone who has volunteered of their time or provided sustenance to the rescue personnel. We continue to keep the families, friends and colleagues of those involved in this tragedy in our thoughts and prayers,” she said.

The provincial government said it is closely monitoring the situation and has sent resources to assist the emergency response at the construction site.

Premier Alan Winde said: “All the necessary support has been offered to emergency personnel to expedite their response. At the moment, officials are focused on saving lives. This is our top priority at this stage.”

He urged the public to allow emergency services officials the space to carry out their duties and not put their own lives at risk by travelling to the site.