At least six killed and dozens buried by South Africa building collapse

Rescuers make contact with 11 survivors buried under rubble after building collapses in George, Western Cape province.

Rescuers at collapsed building in George South Africa
Emergency workers on the scene of a collapsed building in George, South Africa, May 7, 2024 [AP Photo]

At least six people have been killed and dozens of others are unaccounted for after a building collapsed in South Africa.

Rescue teams said on Tuesday that they had made contact with 11 survivors buried under the rubble after the five-storey building, which was under construction, collapsed on Monday afternoon

At least 28 people have been pulled from the debris at the site in the coastal city of George, in South Africa’s Western Cape province, municipal authorities said. There were 47 others unaccounted for, including the 11 with whom contact had been established.

“We are in contact with 11 people” trapped under rubble, Colin Deiner, head of rescue operations, told a news conference in Cape Town.

Life had been detected under three areas of the site.

“They’ve been down there for more than 24 hours now, that’s a long time,” provincial premier Alan Winde said at the same news conference.

It was not clear why the building, located near the city centre, suddenly collapsed. The police have opened a case and authorities are investigating.

Security camera footage from nearby showed the concrete structure and metal scaffolding come crashing down at 2:09pm local time (12:09 GMT) on Monday.

A construction crew of 75 people was on site at the time of the collapse, authorities said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa sent condolences to the families of those affected and called on investigators to work quickly to rescue survivors.

“Investigations into the cause of the incident must aim to bring closure to the community and prevent a repeat of this disaster,” the statement read.

Building collapses in George, South Africa
The scene of a collapsed building in George, South Africa [AP Photo]

At least 11 of those injured were in “red” conditions, authorities said, indicating that “emergency” care was needed for critical injuries under South Africa’s triage procedures.

Three people were classified as needing “yellow” or “urgent” care, while 12 others were in less critical “green” and “blue” conditions.

Source: News Agencies