George building collapse: Death toll climbs to 30 as identification process remains a challenge

The death toll from the collapsed apartment building in George, South Africa, has reached 30.

Rescue operations have entered the eighth day since the building collapsed last Monday afternoon at 75 Victoria Street, burying 81 people under the rubble.

So far, 59 workers have been rescued and 13 workers have been hospitalised, while the death toll has risen to 30 people.

Meanwhile, a total of 22 workers remain unaccounted for.

Municipality spokesperson, Chantel Edwards, said the primary focus continues to be on rescue efforts.
“With this in mind, we are also proactively setting up plans to expedite the identification of the deceased.

This is done by the Forensic Pathology Service and the South African Police Service (SAPS). We, therefore, endeavour to fast-track the process to help bring closure to families,’’ Edwards said.

She added that they are experiencing difficulties in obtaining accurate names of individuals who are missing and some of the deceased.

“We urgently request families who have lost contact with their loved ones to come to the George Civic Centre in York Street. This will enable the department of social development to collect detailed and precise information, ensuring that all records are accurately documented,” she said.

She said the Joint District Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios.

This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources. IOL News

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