Difficulty in identifying George victims

Eighty-one people were reportedly in the building when caved in, 61 have so far been rescued or recovered from underneath the rubble.

On Tuesday morning, the death toll rose to 32 while 12 people are currently receiving medical treatment.

Floyd Herwels, Assistant Director for Forensic Pathology Services, said yesterday that the bodies that are being recovered are in a state of decomposition, making it difficult to identify the victims.

“We normally would not show any pictures to families of any bodies in a state of decomposition but because of the situation we find ourselves in (we have to).

“We have to sensitise the family members to the fact that the pictures might be gory but it will assist us to link a family,” Herwels explained.

“As the bodies come in we will go through the post-mortem process so that we can get the pictures done.

“I understand that the families want closure, they want answers but if they can give us a day after the body has been recovered to put the photo albums together (it would be appreciated).”

Meanwhile, 25 workers remain unaccounted for, as search and rescue operations continue to find those who are still trapped under the debris.

In what has been called a miracle, 32-year-old Gabriel Guambe was rescued on Saturday, six days after the tragedy.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said the next step is to establish who is culpable for the disaster and what the consequences will be.

“There will be charges, this is a very serious issue. Many people have lost their lives and that is absolutely unacceptable, we can’t let that happen ever again,” he said.

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