‘I thought we were being bombed’ 

‘I thought we were being bombed’ 

While buried under the rubble of the collapsed George building, Delvin Safers said a short prayer and asked God to spare his life.  

Safers, from Mossel Bay, a 50km drive from George, told Sunday World that he was just on site at 75 Victoria Street for five minutes with his colleagues to deal with the installation of electric cables when the building collapsed. 

“I was on the third floor of the building while my three other colleagues were on the first floor when the building collapsed. Everything happened so fast, and I even thought that the building was being bombed. I don’t know what happened afterwards, and the only thing I saw when I opened my eyes was darkness, and my eyes were burning,” recalled Safers. 

He could not lift his legs, which were buried under heavy rubble that had fallen on him.  

“I prayed to God to spare my life as I didn’t know how I found myself in that situation. This was the most shocking experience I have ever experienced in my entire life. I heard people screaming for help while I was doing the same. It was a horrible ordeal that I will never forget,” he said. 

“It is through the grace of God that I am still alive. Nobody in this world is prepared for this to happen, as one second you are alive and cherishing the gift of life, the next second you are staring death in the eyes. That’s scary stuff to experience,” said Safers. 

He said that he was pulled out of the rubble by rescue workers and that he could hear other construction workers screaming and asking for help.  

Safers suffered injuries on his head where he has a fresh scar that was stitched in hospital.  

“I don’t know what hit me on my head, but whatever it is, nearly cracked my skull. I am grateful that I am still alive, and I am praying for the families of those who lost their lives, and I am also hoping that those who are in hospital get necessary medical attention to get better and be discharged,” he said. 

Safers came back to the vicinity of the doomed building on Wednesday and on Thursday when President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the collapsed construction site. 

“I haven’t gone back to the building even though I am around the location. I am thinking that if I go there, I will have nightmares as I escaped death through grace,” he said. 

Safers’ father, Deon, said he was grateful that his son survived. 

“I heard in the news that there was a building that had collapsed in George, and I immediately told my wife that the construction site that collapsed is one of those, Delvin frequents to do his job.  

“I immediately travelled to George from Mossel Bay, and when I got there, I didn’t know where my son was. I saw the car he is using when he is at work, but I couldn’t see him. Panic set in and I started praying that he was alive. I was later called by the hospital to be told that he was rescued.” 

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