At least 58 killed in Johannesburg building fire

Emergency officials said 43 more people are injured after the blaze in South Africa’s biggest city.

At least 58 killed in Johannesburg building fire PA Media

At least 58 people have died in a fire in a multi-storey building, believed to have been used by homeless people, in South Africa’s biggest city, emergency services said.

Another 43 people were injured in the blaze in Johannesburg, which broke out in the pre-dawn hours of Thursday, Emergency Management Services said.

Spokesman Robert Mulaudzi said a search-and-recovery operation was under way and it was likely the death toll would rise.

The multi-storey building in Johannesburg is said to have housed around 200 people, according to witnesses.PA Media

At least one child was among the dead, Mr Mulaudzi said.

Authorities said the fire had been largely extinguished but smoke still seeped out of windows of the blackened building in downtown Johannesburg.

Mr Mulaudzi said the building was effectively an “informal settlement” where homeless people had moved in looking for accommodation without any formal lease agreements.

He added that this situation made it hard to search the building.

Mr Mulaudzi said: “Over 20 years in the service, I’ve never come across something like this.”

Witnesses claim there might have been as many as 200 people living in the building.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in