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George building collapse rescue recovery operations end

Rescue and recovery operations at the 75 Victoria Street building collapse site in George will cease during the course of Friday, 17 May.

However, access to Victoria Street remains closed from York Street.

Rescue workers and other role-players have been on site for 259 hours.

Based on information received from the contractor on site, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and other emerging external sources, the estimated number of individuals on site during the incident was 81.

In the latest update issued by the George Municipality, it was confirmed that as the rescue operation unfolded, the numbers fluctuated.

However, it can be now be confirmed that 62 individuals were either recovered or rescued which equates to a 54.8% rescue rate.

Confirmed statistics for the incident

Rescued and recovered: 62
Of which deceased: 33
Of deceased still to be formally identified: 4
Alive (and/or hospitalised): 29

HANDOVER OF SITE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT

The Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality are finalising preparations for the Department of Labour and Employment to take over the building collapse site to continue their formal investigation.

RESPECTING PATIENT PRIVACY IN MEDICAL FACILITIES

Members of the media and public are kindly requested to respect the privacy of the patients who are still hospitalised and receiving treatment at medical facilities.

Their dignity while they recover, should be observed, protected, and respected.

REFRAIN FROM SPECULATION

The public is advised that official investigations into the incident are being undertaken by SAPS, Department of Labour, Department of Infrastructure, and an independent structural engineering firm appointed by the Western Cape Government.

Speculation and possible causes by unofficial “experts” could impact negatively on the official investigation.

The public is requested to refrain from spreading malicious rumours and/or fake news.

POST-INCIDENT SUPPORT BY DSD

There is currently a Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) desk at the George Town hall, which is referring any family members or close relatives of the affected contract workers to their offices at York Park Building situated in York Street.

For more information contact telephone number: 044 814 1920/21 / 072 4561 486.

The Western Cape Department of Social Development has indicated that a comprehensive range of services will continue to be made available to the affected families for a minimum of six months.

Psychosocial support for all rescue and non-rescue personnel will be addressed.

The South African website will provide further updates when available and sends its thoughts and prayers to the families of all those affected.

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