Death toll rises to 27 in South Africa building collapse-Xinhua

Death toll rises to 27 in South Africa building collapse

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-13 23:53:30

CAPE TOWN, May 13 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from a building collapse in South Africa has increased to 27, with 25 construction workers still missing, authorities reported on Monday.

The multi-story building under construction collapsed at 2:09 p.m. last Monday in the coastal city of George, located about 400 kilometers east of Cape Town in the Western Cape Province. The reasons for the collapse are still under investigation.

As rescue and recovery efforts continue into a week after the incident, 55 of the 81 people onsite at the time of the collapse have been recovered, 27 of which have been declared deceased and 13 are currently in hospital, said the municipal government of George in its latest update at 3:00 p.m. on Monday.

However, 25 people remain unaccounted for, according to the update.

At the same time, in solemn remembrance of the tragic building collapse, the community and residents of George and South Africa observed a minute of silence at precisely 2:09 p.m. on Monday to honor the lives lost and express their collective grief and support for the affected families.

"This act of solidarity is a poignant gesture to honor those who perished and to extend our heartfelt support to the families affected by this tragedy," said the George municipality.

It noted that the primary focus continues to be on rescue efforts.

"With this in mind, we are also proactively setting up plans to expedite the identification of the deceased. This is done by the Forensic Pathology Service (FPS) and the South African Police Service (SAPS). We, therefore, endeavor to fast-track the process to help bring closure to families," the municipality added.

This came as the SAPS have reportedly registered an inquest docket into the tragedy.

Meanwhile, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said authorities need to establish the cause of the tragic collapse.

South African Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Sihle Zikalala is expected to visit the disaster site on Monday, joined by a delegation of environment professionals and experts from the construction industry.

The purpose of the visit is to ascertain the role of professionals who were involved with this project and assess if there was compliance with all built environment regulations or if there was no misconduct committed by the professionals leading to the disaster.