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A drone view of the scene of a deadly building collapse where several construction workers are thought to be trapped in George, South Africa. /Reuters

Death toll in South Africa’s building collapse rises to 26

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The death toll from the collapse of a building in South Africa has risen to 26, with another 26 people still missing, authorities said Monday, a week after the structure came crashing down.

Six bodies were recovered during the night and the morning at the site in the southern city of George, city officials said.

Rescue teams have worked tirelessly since the five-story apartment block, which was under construction, suddenly collapsed last Monday.

Eighty-one people, mostly construction workers, were at the site at the time.

Twenty-nine people have been rescued so far.

They include a man who was pulled out on Saturday after 116 hours under the rubble.

“It is a miracle that we have all been hoping for,” Western Cape provincial premier Alan Winde said on X, formerly Twitter.

Search teams have vowed to comb every cavity among the wrecked building, but the chances of survival are fading.

“Rescue and recovery efforts continue into a week to this day after the incident took place,” the George municipality said.

One minute’s silence will be held at 2:09 pm (1209 GMT) — the exact time the building collapsed seven days ago — “to honour the lives lost,” it added.

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