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A drone view of the scene of a building collapse where several construction workers are thought to be trapped in George, South Africa on May 6. (Shafiek Tassiem/Reuters via CNN Newsource)

Deadly building collapse in South Africa

May 7, 2024

By Caitlin Danaher, CNN

(CNN) — At least six people have died and 48 so far unaccounted for after a multi-story building collapsed Monday afternoon in the South African city of George, officials said Tuesday.

Rescue missions remain underway, and 26 people have been removed from the rubble since the building collapsed in the Western cape province around 2 p.m. local time (8 a.m. ET) on Monday, George Municipality said in a statement.

“Three teams of rescue personnel are currently working on three different areas within the site of the collapsed building,” the statement said.

The rescue operation is estimated to take four to five days, with 111 emergency personnel on site, the Western Cape Government said Tuesday.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa offered his condolences in a statement from his office Tuesday, saying, “The President’s thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones as well as the families of close to 50 people who are trapped in the rubble.”

Ramaphosa also called for an investigation into how the incident happened, to “bring closure to the community and prevent a repeat of this disaster.” the statement said.

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