hope dwindles, two days after the collapse of a building

hope dwindles, two days after the collapse of a building
hope dwindles, two days after the collapse of a building

Hope is dwindling to find another 38 South African workers trapped in the rubble of a building under construction which collapsed on Monday, despite the tireless efforts of rescuers engaged in a race against time.

Of the 75 people who were in the building at the time of its unexplained collapse, Monday shortly after 2 p.m. in George, on the south coast of the country, 37 were able to be freed from the rubble, eight of whom died, according to the municipality.

Of the 29 survivors, 16 are seriously injured and six others are life-threatening.

The toll remained unchanged for a good part of the day, until the authorities announced Wednesday evening that they had recovered an eighth body. Thirty-eight workers are still missing.

More than 200 rescuers have been probing and cutting through tons of concrete continuously for more than 48 hours, in the hope of finding other survivors.

The authorities recalled on Wednesday that it is generally in the first three days that rescue operations make it possible to find survivors. Then, finding survivors is becoming more and more of a miracle.

The mayor of George, Leon Van Wyk, told national television SABC that operations would enter a phase of “recovery of bodies” and “no longer rescue” on Thursday.

“While rescue efforts will continue overnight, teams will now use more powerful concrete breakers and additional trucks to clear the rubble from the site in order to free those still buried,” the municipality said. in a press release.

– Get “the guys” out of the rubble –

During the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, two people were able to be extracted from the rubble, to the applause of rescuers, before being hospitalized, AFP noted.

The first was extricated from a hole dug in the rubble and placed on a stretcher. Another was recovered and wrapped in a blanket, under the gaze of dozens of neighbors and relatives, behind the security perimeter.

Moses Malala, foreman on the site, was hospitalized on Monday but returned to the site a few hours later to help get his “guys” out of the rubble.

He told AFP that he heard a terrible noise while he was working on the roof, then slipped down the slope to land on the side of the construction site.

“My foot started to slip. I was at the top of the roof and I started to go down the slope,” he said, claiming to have seen his “guys going down as quickly as possible towards the ground floor because the building was starting to fall on one side first.”

Since Monday “I have been here, on the site, we want to free our loved ones, our brothers and sisters. Some, we find them alive, others are dead”, he said.

Tuesday evening, religious leaders and simple believers went to pray at the town hall, where the relatives of the missing are feverishly waiting for news, out of sight.

Men, women and children sang multi-part choruses, typically South African, to comfort them. “We came to pray for those caught in the accident, but also to provide spiritual support to the families,” Reverend Siyanda Sijela told AFP.

str-ger-zam-ub/fal

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