/ 01 September 2023

Dozens dead in South African fire


At least 74 people are dead – including 12 children – and more than 50 are injured after a fire tore through an abandoned block of flats in Johannesburg’s city centre. It’s not yet known what caused the blaze, but emergency services say the building had been used by many African migrants looking for shelter in the colder winter months – and there could have been as many as 200 people living there. The fire happened in the middle of Wednesday night (1.30am local time), and firefighters believe people were trapped inside by a locked security gate. To make matters worse, shack-like structures and tents that had been erected inside the building added fuel to the fire. Tearful friends and relatives gathered at the scene as daylight broke, and rescue crews are still searching the 5 floors for more victims. Officials reckon the death toll will rise.  

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