7 Zimbos die in SA building collapse 

Source: 7 Zimbos die in SA building collapse -Newsday Zimbabwe

SEVEN Zimbabweans were among 33 people who died when a building collapsed in George, Western Cape, South Africa.

A number of Zimbabweans have died after trekking down to South Africa looking for greener pastures as they seek to escape economic woes back home where job opportunities have been scarce for the past two decades.

 

 

Fifteen Zimbabweans died in a bus accident in Cape Town recently, highlighting the tip of the great trek of Zimbabweans to South Africa where an unofficial three million Zimbabweans are said to be residing.

According to a statement issued by the Garden Route District Joint Operations Command and George Municipality on Friday last week, 62 people were rescued after the accident and have recovered.

The statement indicated that of the deceased 15 were South Africans, Mozambicans (19), Zimbabweans (7), Malawians (13), Sotho (five) while one was recorded to have been a holder of permanent residency.

“Search and rescue efforts are complete. Consequently, the site is classified as a crime scene and has officially been handed over for a formal investigation by the South African Police Service who will hand it over to the Department of Labour and Employment for their formal investigation to be conducted,” the statement said.

 

 

“The success of the rescue efforts undertaken after the building collapse can be largely attributed to the critical actions taken during the first 48 hours. During this period, rescuers performed their operations with remarkable precision by ensuring victims were safely removed from the incident.

“This swift foundational phase was also carefully co-ordinated from a Joint Operations Centre on-site and a Multi-Agency Command Centre at the Garden Route District Municipality.”

The statement also said the Multi-Agency Command Centre could only account for those who were recovered during the search and rescue operations from the scene.

 

 

“This is why approximate totals were used as each minute unfolded. Based on information received from the contractor on site, the South African Police Service and other emerging external sources (witness statements), the estimated number of individuals on site during the incident amounted to approximately 81.

“We are aware that as the incident unfolded the numbers fluctuated, however we can now officially confirm that with the rescue and recovery efforts now completed, only 62 individuals are accounted for,” the statement added.

Authorities also revealed that the difference between the approximated number of people on site and the official number confirmed could be attributed to a number of reasons which include duplicated names on the contractor’s list, while some people on the list were not at work on the day of the incident.

“CCTv clearly proved that some of those on the site left before the first responders reached the site and to date they have never reported their whereabouts,” the authorities said.

Repatriations are currently being undertaken by the consulates of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Lesotho.

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