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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Early morning fire kill at least 63 in Johannesburg, South Africa

An early morning blaze has killed at least 63 people and at least 43 others injured at a residential building in the Johannesburg CBD on Thursday.

The building is located in an inner city neighbourhood infamous for ‘hijacked’ buildings, a term used in South Africa to refer to buildings illegally taken over by undocumented immigrants.

Johannesburg Emergency Management Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said the fire that gutted the building, on the corner of Albert and Delvers streets, started around 01:30.

Early morning fire kill at least 63 in Johannesburg, South AfricaHe said firefighters had evacuated the building’s occupants on arrival.

Mulaudzi said the death toll may increase because there was an informal settlement inside the building which may have resulted in people being trapped while trying to flee.

“Every floor has an informal settlement, and those that were trying to evacuate were trapped because of the structures between the floors,” he added.

“There is a huge possibility that the body count could be over 60 because we are going from floor to floor.

“We have informed people who are at the scene looking for their relatives that chances of finding them alive are very slim.”

Those injured in the blaze were taken to hospital and officials from the City of Johannesburg Disaster Management have begun relief efforts for those affected.

The cause of the fire has not yet been established.

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