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South Africa building collapse death toll hits 16

South Africa building collapse
South Africa building collapse

The death toll in the building collapse in South Africa has risen to 16, with 36 construction workers still trapped under the rubble, authorities said on Sunday.

The multi-story building under construction collapsed Monday afternoon in the coastal city of George, located about 400 kilometers east of Cape Town in the Western Cape province. The reasons for the collapse are still under investigation.

As rescue and recovery efforts continued into the sixth day at the site, 45 of the 81 individuals present during the incident have been retrieved, said the municipal government of George in its latest update on Sunday morning.

According to the update, 16 of the 45 recovered workers have been declared deceased, while 36 are still unaccounted for.

This followed the miraculous rescue of Gabriel Guambe, a survivor who was trapped under the rubble for nearly five days, said the George municipality in a statement issued on Saturday evening.

The 32-year-old is “recovering well in the hospital, having remarkably sustained only minor injuries,” according to the statement.

“He is doing extremely well, especially considering he went 118 hours without food or water,” it said. “He recently had his first meal in the hospital and is in good spirits.”

In a video shared with the statement by the municipality, Guambe expressed his gratitude to all the rescue personnel for their relentless efforts.

Rescue teams onsite were encouraged to continue their dedication and hard work during the challenging task of searching for those still unaccounted for, the George municipality added in the statement.

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