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Residential Property South Africa

George building collapse: 33 lives claimed, 19 remain trapped

Thirty-three fatalities have been confirmed following the collapse of the unfinished apartment block in George's CBD a week ago - and 19 construction workers still remain trapped beneath the debris.
Source: Wikipedia. Police minister, Bheki Cele is overseeing investigations of the George building collapse at the weekend.
Source: Wikipedia. Police minister, Bheki Cele is overseeing investigations of the George building collapse at the weekend.

The multi-story building - located on Victoria street in George - was under construction and earmarked to be a 42-unit apartment block.

Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili, deputy commissioner of the South African Police Service, said an investigation is under way to determine the cause of the event.

A number of national department Ministers, including those of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Human Settlements, Police and Social Development, have interest in the matter.

During its initial investigation phase, the Engineering Council of South Africa reached out to individuals involved in the 75 Victoria Street project.

This third-party inquiry encompasses the actions of all engineering professionals engaged in the project's construction, while the South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions is evaluating the conduct of all hired construction personnel.

Techniques such as computer simulations and laboratory analysis of building materials will be employed to identify structural weaknesses, design errors, or potential environmental influences contributing to the collapse.

Investigations: Cele urges patience

The Engineering Council of South Africa has acknowledged receiving two complaints against a registered professional involved in the collapsed building's construction. One complaint underwent investigation in 2019 but was subsequently dismissed.

Police Minister Bheki Cele asked that the public allow his team to carry out their investigations unimpeded.

"Any kind of pre-empting on (what) might have happened, will be wrong... We know (the families) are waiting and are anxious but we will ask (for) space as we deal with the investigations," he said.

The Garden Route Joint Operation Centre and municipality said that the operations were "still continuing with new vigour" after the successful rescue of tiler Gabriel Guambe, 32. Guambe was trapped beneath rubble but was successfully rescued on Saturday afternoon. He is in hospital in a stable condition.

He is expected to be reunited with his family today.

"This rescue brings new hope and teams have found new energy to continue with rescue and recovery operations," said spokesperson of the centre, Rowena van Wyk.

This is a developing story

About Katja Hamilton

Katja is the Finance, Property and Healthcare Editor at Bizcommunity.
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