George Building Collapse: Grieving Families Seek Answers After 260-Hour Recovery Operation Concludes

George Building Collapse: Grieving Families Seek Answers After 260-Hour Recovery Operation Concludes

  • The families who tragically lost their loved ones in the building collapse in George are demanding answers
  • At least 33 individuals were found dead at the construction site, while others were rescued and rushed to hospital
  • The George building collapse rescue and recovery operation of 260 hours has concluded and the site has been classified as a crime scene

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Trisha Pillay is a Briefly News current affairs journalist in Johannesburg. For 13 years, she has devoted her professional life to covering social issues and community news, sharing her expertise with newsrooms like The Citizen newspaper, African News Network, and Newzroom Afrika. Do you have a hard news story you would like to share? Email with CA in the subject line.

Rescue operations conclude at building collapse in George.
After 260 hours, rescue operations have now concluded at the George building collapse site. Images: Western Cape Government
Source: Twitter

WESTERN CAPE - After 260 hours, rescue and recovery operations at the George building collapse site have concluded.

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Funeral arrangements start for George building collapse victims with Avbob’s assistance

Rescue operations halted

The site is now a designated crime scene under investigation by the South African Police Service and the Department of Labour. The incident occurred on 6 May 2024, and families are demanding answers.

Under construction, the five-story luxury apartment building crumbled like a house of cards, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake.

Despite some fortunate survivors, the collapse claimed the lives of 33 individuals. Efforts are underway to support these families in laying their loved ones to rest, while there have been calls for a thorough investigation to provide closure to the victims' families.

62 Construction workers on site

According to The Citizen, the reported number of individuals present during the collapse and subsequent rescue operations underwent revisions. The Western Cape Government and George Municipality confirmed that 62 individuals were on-site at the time of the tragedy.

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George building collapse: Search and rescue mission concludes, investigation begins

The rescue and recovery mission, which lasted 260 hours and involved dedicated personnel working tirelessly in two shifts, has concluded, as announced by Western Cape Local Government, Environmental Affairs, and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell.

During the operation, rescue teams cleared over 6,000 tons of debris in their search for survivors. Despite the challenges faced over the past two weeks, Premier Alan Winde praised the efforts of disaster management personnel and volunteers in their valiant attempts to save lives. He extended heartfelt condolences to the families of those who died.

What you need to know about the George building collapse

  • The apartment building on Victoria Street in George collapsed on Monday while still under construction
  • The Western Cape Government and George Municipality confirmed 62 individuals on-site at the time of the tragedy, which initially reported 81
  • During the incident, cleaners, painters, and construction workers were on-site

Read also

Two interns working on the George building died in the collapse

Mzansi weighs in

The focus has now shifted to the provincial government's investigation, which aims to uncover the circumstances leading to the tragic incident and provide answers to those affected.

Here are some of the reactions:

@Kayolet Matjeni Ga Mathabe shared:

"My heart is bleeding, South Africa is burning."

@Maxwell Masonti said:

"The place should be declared a memorial site."

@Anneke du Preez commented:

"Many questions and tears. Will we ever know the real reasons and the report of the investigations?"

@Reg Leonard Brand highlighted:

"90% sure that, with ' proper investigation', they will prove that the cement, sand and stone mix ratio was far too weak."

@Jeanette Watkins praised:

"Thank you to all the rescue crews. Very traumatic for the teams and the families."

Funeral arrangements start for George building collapse victims

In a related story, Briefly News reported that funeral arrangements are underway for the construction workers who died in the George building collapse.

Read also

George building collapse site to be handed over to police on Friday

Burial services company Avbob is assisting 25 families to help repatriate their loved ones remains to their respective countries.

The South African funeral home has offered to bury the victims of the George building collapse at no charge.

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Source: Briefly News

Trisha Pillay avatar

Trisha Pillay (Weekend current affairs editor) Trisha Pillay is a Current Affairs writer at Briefly News. She has a degree in Journalism from the University of Johannesburg and an Honours degree in International Politics from UNISA. She joined ENCA straight out of varsity and completed an internship at the channel. Pillay later went on to cover politics, crime, entertainment, and current affairs at the Citizen Newspaper. She joined Newzroom Afrika in 2019 and became a senior bulletin editor for shows focused on politics and current affairs on the channel. She joined Briefly News in 2023. You can contact her at

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