Johannesburg (Web Desk): At least 73 people died and more than 50 injured in a fire at a five-storey building in Johannesburg’s central business district.
According to emergency services officials, the building was abandoned previously but was inhabited by homeless people at the time of the fire.
The officials of emergency services said that seven children with the youngest 1-year-old, were among those killed in the fire.
Alerts about the fire were raised at 1:30am local time.
Earlier, the search teams stated they found 64 bodies, and the chance of anyone being found alive hours after the fire broke out was “very slim,” according to Johannesburg’s Emergency Management Service Official, Robert Mulaudzi.
Latest update 63 bodies recoverd and 43 injured still continuing with search and recovery operation— Cojems Spokesperson (@RobertMulaudzi) August 31, 2023
Some of the people living in the building threw themselves out of windows to escape the fire and might have died because of that, a local government official said.
As many as 200 people may have been living in the building, a witnesses said.
Emergency services are still unknown of the cause of the fire and the death toll is expected to rise.
“The building is one of those hijacked, abandoned buildings in the inner city” Mulaudzi said.
Firefighters evacuated several people from the building and the injured were treated on the scene or moved to hospitals.
@CityofJoburgEMS Firefighters are currently attending to a building on fire in @CityofJoburgZA CBD corner Delvers, Alberts street at this stage 10 people confirmed dead and multiple patients treated on scene transported to various health care facilities for further medical care pic.twitter.com/20b6NXaHvF— Cojems Spokesperson (@RobertMulaudzi) August 31, 2023