Man rescued 5 days after building collapse in South Africa

After several hours, the survivor was pulled out and taken to the hospital. (file)

Johannesburg, South Africa:

Rescuers and spectators cheered and applauded Saturday as a survivor was pulled from beneath the debris of a collapsed building in South Africa, 116 hours after the tragedy that killed at least 13 people.

“This is the miracle we were all hoping for,” provincial Premier Alan Winde said on Twitter.

An apartment block under construction in the southern city of George collapsed on Monday afternoon while an 81-member crew was on site.

“When we went down the edge of the slab that we had opened, we heard someone coming inside and we stopped all heavy operations,” rescue mission leader Colin Deaner told reporters.

Rescue workers then called the survivor and he responded, Deaner said.

“He indicated to us that he had weight on his legs, and after so long we are very concerned about it.”

After several hours, the survivor was pulled out and taken to the hospital.

Rescue teams have been working against time since the structure collapsed.

Thirty-nine people have been rescued alive while thirty-nine remain unaccounted for.

Winde said a “rigorous” identification process was underway and police were using fingerprints, DNA testing and photographs.

Construction plans for the 42-unit apartment block were approved by the city in July.

The reasons for the collapse are still unknown.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)