Fire engulfs a residential building in the central business district of Johannesburg, South Africa claiming the lives of at least 63 on Thursday, 31 August.
Evacuation of the building was swiftly carried out, and 43 were reported grievously injured according to the Emergency Management Services (EMS). Some suffered from smoke inhalation, and had to be shifted to the hospital. Spokesperson of the EMS Robert Mulaudzi stated on X, formerly known as Twitter:
“We are now on 63 fatalities and 43 people injured who were transported to various healthcare facilities.”Robert Mulaudzi, Spokesperson of the EMS
Videos of the incident have gone viral as the flame spread to the lower floor of the building. , and public broadcaster SABC reported that emergency services and firefighters are working to put out the blaze.
Mulaudzi regretfully admitted that in his 20 years of service, he has “never encountered something like this before”.
The cause of the fire and the extent of the damage is unknown as of now. Johannesburg’s emergency services said the fire was reported at around 1:30 am local time on Thursday.
“At this stage the cause of the fire incident is still a subject of investigations. Officials from City of Johannesburg Disaster Management have been activated to start facilitating relief for affected families.”The statement of Emergency Services read.