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Final George collapse report and numbers

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The rescue and recovery operations for the building collapse site lasted 260 hours.

SITE HANDOVER CONCLUDED

Search and rescue efforts are completed. Consequently, the site is classified as a crime scene and has officially been handed over for a formal investigation by the South African Police Service (SAPS) who will hand it over to the Department of Labour and Employment for their formal investigation to be conducted.

RESCUE OPERATIONS CONCLUDE WITH MANY SAVED, SOME DECEASED

The success of the rescue efforts undertaken after the building collapse, can be largely attributed to the critical actions taken during the first 48-hours. During this period, rescuers performed their operations with remarkable precision by ensuring victims were safely removed from the incident. This swift foundational phase was also carefully coordinated from a Joint Operations Centre on-site and a Multi-Agency Command Centre at the Garden Route District Municipality.

The Multi-Agency Command Centre can only account for those who were recovered during the search and rescue operations from the scene. This is why approximate totals were used as each minute unfolded.

Based on information received from the contractor on site, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and other emerging external sources (witness statements), the estimated number of individuals on site during the incident amounted to approximately 81. We are aware that as the incident unfolded the numbers fluctuated, however we can now officially confirm that with the rescue and recovery efforts now completed, only 62 individuals are accounted for.

The difference between the approximate of people on site and the official number now confirmed can be attributed to the following ABCs:
A) We found that some of the names on the contractor’s list were duplicated
B) Official investigations by SAPS confirmed that some of those on the contractor’s list were not at work on the day of the incident
C) CCTV clearly proved that some of those on the site left before the first responders reached the site and to date they have never reported their whereabouts.

Report history:
75 (approximate on-site) reported from 6 May 2024, 21:00 until 9 May 2024 at 06:00
81 (approximate on-site) reported from 9 May 2024, 6:30am until 16 May 2024 at 21:00
62 (confirmed on-site) reported on 17 May 2024, 09:00 at the end of the rescue and recovery operations.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Deceased: 33
* Of the 33 deceased, two (2) still to be formally identified
* Hospitalised: 10
* Discharged: 19

List of nationalities present on the incident site:
* South Africa: 15
* Mozambique: 19
* Zimbabwe: 7
* Malawi: 13
* Lesotho: 5
* Permanent Residency Holder: 1
* Unknown nationality: 2

Repatriations are being undertaken by the Consulates of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Lesotho.

Feature Photograph: South African Police Service

Additional Photo: Garden Route District Municipality

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