South Africa: At Least 73 People Die In Johannesburg Building Fire

Disaster South Africa

At least 73 people have died in a devastating blaze that broke out inside a five-storey building in central Johannesburg on Thursday morning.


More than 40 others have been injured in the fire in Marshalltown as videos captured at the scene show raging flames consuming the lower level of the building.

A search-and-recovery operation is underway as authorties said they were expecting the death toll to rise.


The fire has largely been extinguished after firefighters raced to the scene to tackle the flames, but smoke still seeps out of the charred building.



Reports suggest as many as 200 people lived in the building, which was an “informal settlement” housing homeless people while they looked for permanent accommodation.


City of Johannesburg emergency services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said the building’s status as a homeless shelter had made it harder to account for those killed and missing, as those living there were doing so without formal lease agreements.


The building, located in Marshalltown, housed hundreds of residents who rented space in the abandoned structure. Safety regulations were lacking due to its abandoned status. The death toll continues to fluctuate, with authorities expecting to discover more bodies as recovery operations continue.

This tragic incident has brought sorrow to the city of Johannesburg, and emergency services are now handing over the investigation to the South African police. The focus remains on recovering all the bodies and attending to those who sustained minor injuries and smoke inhalation.

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