Home South African George building collapse death toll rises to 16

George building collapse death toll rises to 16

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The death toll in the George building collapse in the Western Cape has risen to 16.

The apartment block was under construction when it collapsed on Monday, trapping 81 workers under the rubble. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane, Independent Newspapers

THE DEATH toll in the George building collapse in the Western Cape has now risen to 16.

The apartment block was under construction when it collapsed on Monday, trapping 81 workers under the rubble.

On Saturday morning, a man now identified as 33-year-old Gabriel Guambe, a tiler, was miraculously discovered underneath the debris after 116 hours.

The rescue team found him after hearing somebody on what they thought to be the third floor of the building.

In a video shared on X by the municipality, Guambe said: “I’m okay now, I’m okay now, everything is okay. Thank you, God bless you guys.”

“Mr Guambe is recovering well … having remarkably sustained only minor injuries,” authorities said in a statement, adding that he was in “good spirits”.

Guambe was located by the rescue team who heard sounds from under the debris. He was eventually pulled out hours after being discovered.

Rescue and recovery efforts continue into the sixth day at the site of the collapsed building at 75 Victoria Street.

As of 9am on May 12, 2024, marking the 139th hour of operations, the confirmed statistics are as follows:

Total individuals on-site during the incident: 81

Rescued and recovered: 45

Of which deceased: 16

Currently hospitalised: 14

Unaccounted for: 36

The Joint District Operations Centre adheres to a stringent double verification protocol to ensure the accuracy of the reported numbers.

This is done in close collaboration with recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

The National Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, is scheduled to visit the site later on Sunday for an official briefing.

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