Johannesburg. At least 64 people were killed and 43 others were injured in a fire in a multi-storey building in South Africa’s largest city Johannesburg on Thursday. Migrants lived in this building. Officials said it was not clear what caused the fire in the five-storey building in the center of the city. A large number of emergency and rescue workers are still at the scene as bodies continue to be found.
Robert Mlaudzi, a spokesman for the city of Johannesburg’s emergency services, said the fire department received a call about a blaze at a building on the corner of Delvers and Alberts Street at about 1:30 a.m. “It was a five-storey building that caught fire last night. We managed to put out the fire and evacuate people inside the building,” Mulaudzi said. The building was destroyed by fire.
20 Illegal Immigrants from Zimbabwe die from Fire from a Hijacked Building in Johannesburg CBD. They refused to go Home and Vote only to die a painful death. 80% of Buildings in Joburg CBD are Hijacked mostly by Zimbabweans. @MYANC Turns a Blind Eye. @OperationDudula We don’t pic.twitter.com/mZ774EWrcy
— @Kommander_Josh (@Kommander_Josh) August 31, 2023
Mulaudzi said in a post on X that 64 bodies had been recovered and 43 others were charred and that the search and rescue operation was still ongoing. A child is also included in the dead. He said the fire has been brought under control and search and rescue operations are underway. Mulaudzi said the death toll could rise as there was an informal housing area inside the building in which people may have been trapped while trying to escape.
“Each floor had an informal housing area and people who tried to escape could have been trapped there,” Mulodzi was quoted as saying by the News24 website report. “We have told people at the scene who are searching for their relatives that the chances of finding their relatives alive are very slim,” he said.
People burnt in the fire have been admitted to the hospital. A Tanzanian who lives near the building said that there were dozens of dwelling houses inside the building that could have housed hundreds of people. She said most of the residents in many buildings in the area are illegal immigrants from African countries who came to South Africa’s economic hub in search of jobs.
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