Home South African Death toll from George building collapse rises to five, while 50 workers...

Death toll from George building collapse rises to five, while 50 workers remain trapped

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The death toll from the collapse of a five-storey building that was under construction at a site in George in the Western Cape has reportedly risen to five.

The death toll from the collapse of a multi-storey building that was under construction on Victoria Street, George, has risen to five. Picture: Gift of the Givers

THE DEATH toll from the collapse of a five-storey building that was under construction at a site in George in the Western Cape has reportedly risen to five.

On Monday, it was reported that construction workers at the site in George were trapped after the building they were working on collapsed in the afternoon.

The building under construction in Victoria Street collapsed and access to the road from York Street has been blocked off.

The George Municipality spokesperson, Chantel Edwards, said she could confirm the building collapse, which was adjacent to the municipality’s main offices in York Street.

The municipality has closed its main building as a safety precaution until further notice.

On Tuesday morning, broadcaster Newzroom Afrika reported that the death toll had risen to five.

At least 24 people have been rescued from the doomed building, while 50 workers remained trapped.

“It is important to understand that there is a lot of pressure, a lot of tension from what has been a very long night for all of the families,” said Anton Bredell, the Western Cape local government minister.

“We thank all the volunteers and Gift of the Givers for assisting and helping us.”

Earlier on Monday, it was reported that the massive search for the trapped workers began at about 2pm, while on Monday night voices were heard coming from under the rubble.

George mayor Leon van Wyk said: “We were told to be quiet and to switch off any equipment because the rescuers were talking to somebody under the rubble and trying to remove parts of the debris to get to the person or persons trapped. The operations to try and get to the people down there were expected to go through the night. It appeared that there were still people who were alive.

“It becomes a very tricky operation when a building collapses and you have various slabs of concrete and they need to be moved very carefully so that they don’t cause further injuries or collapse.”

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