May 19th, 2024

More than 40 workers trapped after a building under construction collapsed in South Africa


By Gerald Imray, The Associated Press on May 6, 2024.

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) – A multi-story apartment building under construction collapsed Monday in a coastal city in South Africa, injuring at least 22 workers and trapping more than 40 others in the rubble, authorities said.

The injured workers were taken to a hospital, but authorities did not immediately provide details of their injuries. South African media reported that at least five workers had sustained serious injuries.

The building collapsed just after 2 p.m. in the city of George, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of Cape Town on South Africa’s south coast.

Authorities estimate as many as 48 workers remain trapped based on a count of workers at the site, George Municipality spokesperson Chantel Edwards-Klose said. A total of 70 people were believed to be working on the new apartment building when it collapsed, but that was an early estimate, Edwards-Klose said.

Rescue efforts were ongoing, with the George municipality saying 80 rescue personnel were on the scene and an additional 53 on their way from nearby cities. The building that collapsed was located next to the municipal offices, it said.

The provincial Western Cape government said it was closely monitoring the situation and had sent resources to assist with the emergency response.

“All the necessary support has been offered to emergency personnel to expedite their response. At the moment, officials are focused on saving lives. This is our top priority at this stage,” Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, the head of the provincial government, said in a statement.

The national government was being briefed, Winde said.

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Associated Press writer Mogomotsi Magome in Johannesburg contributed to this report.

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AP Africa news: https://apnews.com/hub/africa

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