Wednesday, May 22, 2024

South Africa: Cause of building collapse elusive as death toll hits 32

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

South African authorities have confirmed that the number of deaths from the George building collapse has now reached 32.

Eight more bodies were retrieved on Tuesday with 20 persons still missing. 13 victims are receiving medical care in hospitals.

The cause of this devastating event remains elusive despite a week passing since the multi-story building’s collapse.

This has prompted rescue efforts and investigations by Western Cape authorities.

Local media has reported that a worker was rescued from the debris of a collapsed building after being trapped for nearly five days.

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Speaking from the site of the collapsed building, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde devscribed the rescue as a miracle and expressed his gratitude to the teams working “tirelessly” to rescue those who are trapped.

“We never gave up hope and today I cannot express the extent of my relief and joy. Thank you to all the teams – you are true heroes.”

Colin Deiner, the province’s head of disaster management, said Mr Gambe told them before he was pulled free that he had a “weight” on his legs.

“We are very concerned about that after such a long period of time so we have had two surgeons come in.”

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Sihle Zikalala has acknowledged the government’s limited knowledge regarding the main contractor responsible for the collapsed structure.

This absence of information is legally permissible, as the company is not mandated to register with the Construction Industry Development Board when working for private clients.

However, Minister Zikalala highlights the need for regulatory improvements, citing the CIDB Amendment Bill as a measure to enhance compliance and enforcement within the construction sector.

Concurrently, the South African Council for the Projects and Construction Management Professions is diligently investigating whether the contractors involved in the project were duly registered, underscoring the importance of accountability and adherence to industry standards during such tragic incidents.

The partially built apartment block collapsed on Monday May 6, killing at least 14 people and leaving 39 unaccounted for.

Eighty-one people were on the construction site when the building came down, the city’s latest announcement said. Thirteen of those who were rescued are being treated in hospital.

Man drowns trying to rescue $20 note in river


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