Construction worker extricated from George building collapse

It has been described as a ‘miracle’ at the building that collapsed in George.

A man was extricated on Saturday at the site on 75 Victoria Street. The multi-story construction site collapsed on Monday afternoon, prompting a large scale emergency response. The cause is yet to be determined.

‘’We heard someone inside. We stopped all the heavy operations and then we actually spoke to him, and he spoke to us. He is own of the tilers. We do not know the name as yet. He indicated that he has weight on his leg, so we are very concerned about that after such a long period of time. He is in contact with us, [but] we don't know what his condition is. We are full of hope that we are going to recover him alive,’’ said Colin Deiner, Western Cape Disaster Risk Management Centre head.

SUPPLIED: Herman Pieters, Garden Route Muncipality

He added that the man was responsive and he had been transported to the nearby hospital for treatment.

Day 5 of the operation has spanned 121 hours as at 3p.m on Saturday.

‘’This is a result of the decision taken by the multi-agency command to continue employing a systematic rescue and recovery approach. This rescue brings new hope and teams have found new energy to continue with rescue and recovery operations. The survivor was extricated cautiously and transported to the hospital after being stabilized by the onsite medical team,’’ said George Municipality, in a statement.

Thirty-nine construction workers are still unaccounted for, with fourteen patients hospitalised. The multi-story construction site, which saw 81 individuals on-site, collapsed in Victoria Street on Monday afternoon, prompting a large scale emergency response. The cause is yet to be determined.

‘’The Joint District Operations Centre adheres to a rigorous double verification protocol in reporting rescue and recovery numbers, collaborating closely with recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services,’’ added the George municipality.

It called for professional psychosocial support practitioners proficient in Chewa, Portuguese, and Shona languages. Practitioners can reach out to Kholiswa Jobela at 078 210 5972 or Apolus Swart at 061 504 4205.

Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, expressed gratitude to the staff involved.

Thank you to the rescue teams and volunteers who have been working so hard these last 4,5 days to rescue those 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. I am so proud of you.’’

Done By: Mitchum George


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