Race to find 48 trapped construction workers

21 people have been rescued from the site of the collapsed building in George

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Rescue teams battle to find construction workers still trapped under the collapsed apartment block in George. Photo: Daniel Steyn

Forty-eight construction workers are still trapped in the collapsed apartment block in George. So far 27 people have been retrieved from the site, six of whom have died. 48 construction workers are still trapped in the building.

The building collapsed around 2pm on Monday afternoon. Rescue teams worked through the night to search for and rescue the trapped construction workers.

As of Tuesday morning, teams are in communication with 11 construction workers whom they hope will be rescued on Tuesday. Four of them are trapped in a basement.

Another is trapped in an apartment. He was able to call his wife with his cellphone and told the rescue team which apartment he was in. Sniffer dogs and seismic equipment are being used to search for the workers.

Colin Deiner, chief director of Western Cape Disaster Management, said at a media briefing on Tuesday morning that the international standard is to continue search and rescue operations for three days.

The teams will continue to attempt to make contact with people trapped in the rubble.

Thereafter, a “delayering” process will involve removing each floor of the building to find people trapped deeper down, he said.

Western Cape Premier Winde confirmed during the briefing that an independent investigation into the cause of the collapse has been initiated.

Families of the construction workers are receiving psycho-social support from the Western Cape provincial government’s social workers, Winde said.

TOPICS:  Housing Labour

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