Rescue operation underway after South Africa building collapse


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Five dead and 49 missing following South Africa building collapse

Rescue teams worked tirelessly throughout the night searching for dozens of workers trapped under rubble after a multi-story apartment building under construction collapsed in George, South Africa.

The collapse occurred on Monday afternoon, leading to a critical rescue operation that stretched into the early hours of Tuesday.

As reported by AP News, the incident has claimed the lives of five individuals, while 49 remain unaccounted for amidst the debris.

Authorities have confirmed that 21 workers have been rescued so far, with at least 11 suffering from severe injuries.

The collapsed structure, located approximately 400 kilometers east of Cape Town, prompted a significant emergency response.

Over 100 personnel, including sniffer dogs, were deployed to the site to aid in the search efforts.

Ongoing rescue efforts face tough challenges

The collapse scene was described by Colin Deiner, Chief Director of the Western Cape Disaster Management and Fire and Rescue Services, as a challenging operation fraught with difficulties due to the massive blocks of concrete that have to be navigated.

“It’s a very tough operation,” Deiner said: “There’s a lot of concrete … so we think it will still take quite a while.

“The search operation will continue all day. We’ve got a lot of people on the scene but it’s really, really hard work.”

Efforts to rescue those still trapped continued throughout the day, with large cranes and heavy lifting equipment brought in to aid the process.

Emergency teams also erected tall spotlights, allowing them to work through the night in a bid to find survivors.

Investigation into the collapse underway

As the rescue operations progressed, investigations began into the cause of the sudden collapse.

Early indications did not immediately reveal why the building failed, but police have opened a case to investigate further.

The disaster has prompted a wave of support from local communities and organizations, including the Gift of the Givers, which provided aid and logistical support at the scene.

Local officials, including George Executive Mayor Leon Van Wyk, expressed their condolences and concern for the affected families: “Our thoughts are with the families and all those affected who continue to wait on word of their loved ones,” Van Wyk stated.

The community’s response underscores the severity of the incident and the broad impact on the families and workers involved.

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