Death Toll Climbs Above 30 in South Africa Building Collapse

( – On May 13, rescue teams continued searching for survivors as the death toll climbed to 33 following the collapse of an apartment building that was under construction in George, South Africa.

Since the May 6 collapse of the unfinished five-story building, over 600 emergency services and other personnel have been searching for survivors. Eighty-one workers were in the building when it collapsed. Rescue teams have pulled 29 workers out of the rubble alive. According to the city, 12 of them remain in the hospital.

On May 12, six days after the collapse, rescue workers found one construction worker alive in the rubble despite having no food or water. The worker, identified as Gabriel Guambe, 32, is “remarkably sustained only minor injuries” and in stable condition after being trapped for 118 hours, according to the city.

Despite the rescue of Guambe, teams also recovered 11 more bodies in the rubble, and 19 workers remain missing. However, the disaster management team overseeing rescue efforts maintains that they are still operating in rescue mode and not recovery mode, noting that there are gaps between the collapsed concrete where survivors could be located. Rescuers continue using cranes and other heavy machinery to remove some of the concrete to reach new areas of the collapsed building, as well as dogs that can find people in the rubble.

Municipality spokesperson Chantel Edwards said plans were being made by officials “to expedite the identification of the deceased” and “help bring closure to families.” However, she noted that officials were having difficulty obtaining the names of those still missing and some of those killed, noting that only six of the workers killed in the collapse had been identified as many of the construction workers were migrants from the southern African countries of Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Police and other organizations are investigating the collapse and whether the construction company followed the proper safety protocols.

Copyright 2024,