May 10, 2024

South Africa building collapse death toll rises to 12

South Africa building collapse death toll rises to 12

The death toll from a building collapse in South Africa climbed Friday to 12 with 40 people still unaccounted for, four days after the structure came crashing down.

The tragedy struck Monday afternoon when an apartment block under construction crumbled while a crew of 81 were on site in the southern city of George.

Authorities said three more bodies had been pulled out of the rubble on Friday.

Twenty-eight people have been rescued alive.

With so many workers still missing, families and friends desperate for answers have been waiting at the city hall near the construction site, comforted by social workers and religious leaders.

Many of the survivors had burn and head injuries while some suffered internal injuries, according to the authorities.

Despite more than 90 hours passing since the building went down, Colin Deiner, head of rescue operations, said the work wouldn’t stop.

“We haven’t really drawn a line to say we are going into a recovery phase, we still have a few voids to search through,” he told a news conference.

“We know that time is against us”.

Provincial premier Alan Winde said the process to identify the workers had been “quite difficult”.

The police were using fingerprints, DNA testing and photographs, he said.

Construction plans for a 42-unit apartment block had been approved by the city in July.

The reasons for the collapse are still unknown.