george building collapse rescue
The latest update. Image: George Municipality

Home » George tragedy update: 81 people present during collapse

George tragedy update: 81 people present during collapse

It is now estimated that 81 individuals were at the George building site when the collapse occurred. As of Thursday morning.

09-05-24 19:23
george building collapse rescue
The latest update. Image: George Municipality

New information indicates that were 81 individuals present at the time of the building collapse in George.

As of Thursday morning, 37 people have been rescued from the rubble, leaving 44 unaccounted for. Rescue operations are ongoing.


On Thursday, the Garden Route District Joint Operational Centre in George revealed that the number of individuals trapped in the debris of the collapsed building was higher than initially thought.

“The contractor has now confirmed that the number of workers on site at the time of the collapse was 81 (previously reported as 75),” it said.

“This follows intensive discussions and scrutinisation of the safety records with the responsible contractors.”

As of today, 37 workers have been rescued from the site, with eight confirmed fatalities. 

Forty-four individuals are still missing.

Among the rescued, authorities state that 16 are in critical condition, six have life-threatening injuries, and seven have minor injuries.

According to the Daily Maverick on Wednesday afternoon saw a shift in rescue strategy at the collapsed building site in George, moving away from conventional rescue equipment towards utilising larger demolition machinery. 

Colin Deiner, the chief director of Western Cape disaster management services, clarified that the change in strategy did not signify a transition from a rescue mission to a recovery operation focused solely on retrieving bodies.

From Tuesday afternoon to the early hours of Wednesday, eight individuals were successfully rescued from the collapsed building, with the majority found alive.

This success further motivated rescue workers to persist in their life-saving endeavours.


The donation drop-off point is managed by Gift of the Givers and Herman Pienaar of LoveGeorge, and it will continue to operate throughout the rescue operation.

According to George Herald, the donation drop-off location has been relocated from 79 Victoria Street to the AGS Church Soteria at 27 Victoria Street.

George Municipality has issued a list outlining suggested sustenance donations for the emergency teams involved in the ongoing rescue operation at the site of the collapsed building on Victoria Street.

  • drinking water,
  • energy drinks,
  • wine gums, and
  • food.

The delivery point is being manned by Gift of the Givers and Herman Pienaar of LoveGeorge and will remain operational throughout the rescue period.

Please contact Gift of the Givers: Mario Ferreira (082 490 2752) and Herman Pienaar (082 829 6428) in this regard.

Safety equipment

They are also in need of the following safety equipment:

  • helmets,
  • safety goggles,
  • clipboards,
  • headlamps, and
  • construction gloves.

These must be delivered to GRDM Fire Station, Pearl Road, Tamsui Industria.

Financial contributions

The municipality have also had requests from the public about financial donations.

Please use the banking details below:

  • George Municipality: Relief and Charitable Fund
  • ABSA BANK Cheque Acc: 9149554208
  • Branch Code: 632005

Your contributions and support during this challenging time are greatly appreciated.