63 killed, 43 injured in multi-storey building fire in Johannesburg

Emergency officials near the site after massive fire broke out killing 63 people in the central business district in South Africa’s biggest city Johannesburg

At least 63 people were killed and 43 others injured after a massive fire broke out in a multi-storey building in the central business district in South Africa’s biggest city Johannesburg, PTI reported.

According to emergency services, it was unclear what sparked the blaze at the five-storey building in the city centre.

City of Johannesburg emergency services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said firefighters were alerted to the fire in a building on the corner of Delvers and Alberts streets at about 1:30 am.

“It’s a five-storey building which caught fire in the early hours of this morning. We managed to evacuate the people who were inside the building as soon as we arrived while we were conducting firefighting operations,” TimesLIVE newspaper quoted Mulaudzi as saying.

The fire gutted the building on the corner of Albert and Delvers Streets.

“63 bodies were recovered and 43 were injured…still continuing with search and recovery operation,” Mulaudzi posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

A video posted by Mulaudzi on X showed fire trucks and ambulances outside the building with burnt-out windows. A toddler was among the deceased, the news agency reported.

Of the injured, some suffered smoke inhalation with others sustaining minor injuries.

Mulaudzi said the fire had been contained and that they were busy with “damping down” as well as search and recovery operations.

He 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.

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