Premier Alan Winde updates on George Building Collapse in Western Cape

South Africa: The Rescue and Recovery team’s efforts have continued into a week after the incident tool place at the 75 Victoria Street where a partially-built building collapsed on May 06, 2024.

According to the Garden Route District JOC, in the recent update on the Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape, released on May 13, 2024 around 6:00 p.m. the rescue workers have and other role players have been present on the site for 172 hours.

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As per the statistics confirmed by GRD Joc George Municipality, the total estimated individuals who were present on-site at the time when incident occurred were 81. The rescued and recovered individuals were 59, the deceased ones were counted as 30, and the currently hospitalised individuals are 13, and to note further 22 individuals were unaccounted.

The official media statement released has presented gratitude to all the residents of George and South Africa who participated in the Moment of Silence in honour of the victims who passed away in the incident and has extended the sincere appreciation for continuous support of all.

The primary focus continued to be on the rescue efforts. Keeping this in mind, they were proactively setting up the plans to expedite the identification of the deceased. This was done by the Forensic Pathology Service (FPS) and the South African Police Service (SAPS).

The officials therefore endeavour to fast-track the process to help and bring the closure to the families.

Photograph representing the rescue operation at George Building Collapse
Photograph representing the rescue operation at George Building Collapse

They have also experienced the difficulties in obtaining the accurate names of individuals who are missing or deceased due to the building collapse. The officials have urgently requested the families who have lost the contact with their loved ones to come to the George Civic Centre in York Street.

Considerably, it will be enabled by the Department of Social Development to collect the detailed and precise information that ensures all the records which are documented accurately.

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Furthermore, the Joint District Operations Centre which is adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of the reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster to response scenarios.

The verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources such as recovery teams, hospitals and forensic services.

As per the psychological support, there is still an urgent need for professional psychological support practitioners who are proficient in Chewa, Portuguese and Shona languages to assist survivors and their families. Several other practitioners have already offered their services and more.