S.Africa building collapse kills two, traps dozens, say police

S.Africa building collapse kills two, traps dozens, say police
S.Africa building collapse kills two, traps dozens, say police

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - A general view of a collapsed building in South Africa's coastal city of George on May 6, 2024. — AFP pic

CAPE TOWN, May 7 — A multi-storey building under construction in South Africa’s coastal city of George collapsed on Monday killing at least two people and trapping some 50 workers in the rubble, police said.

Two of the 22 people rescued from the building and sent by ambulance to hospitals in the region succumbed to their injuries, city authorities announced in the evening.

A construction crew of 75 people were on the site at the time of the collapse, city spokeswoman Chantel Edwards said.

In addition to the people hospitalised and the two dead, no information was yet available for the 50 or so others still trapped under the rubble.

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Mario Ferreira, spokesperson for the charity Gift of the Givers, assisting at the site of the incident, told AFP that rescue workers had “communication with some of the people under the rubble”.

The five-storey building, including an underground parking lot, collapsed in the early afternoon, for reasons still undetermined.

Photographs shared by the municipality showed a flattened construction site with multiple rescue services present.

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The building’s broken roof was still clearly visible atop the pile of rubble as high-powered lights lit up the site.

“There have been people taken out, seriously injured,” said Ferreira.

Rescue operations continued into the evening at the site which had been cordoned off.

A coordination post was set up to run the rescue operations with numerous emergency services and about 100 personnel in attendance at George, 400 kilometres (250 miles) east of Cape Town.

More digger and sniffer dogs were dispatched from Cape Town, emergency services said.

Officials said relatives of those trapped had been asked to gather at the town hall, which is close to the site and would be taken care of.

“Our thoughts are with the families and all those affected who continue to wait for word of their loved ones,” Mayor Ald Van Wyk said in a statement.

George, which has a population of about 160,000, lies on the tourist trail along the nation’s southern coastline.

The town hall is run by the Democratic Alliance (DA), the leading opposition party which also controls the Western Cape province. — AFP

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