A fire broke out in Johannesburg. At least 73 people died, 52 were injured

A fire broke out in a five-story building in the heart of Johannesburg. At least 73 people dead, South Africa’s emergency department said At least 73 people have died.

Another 52 people were injured in what is shaping up to be one of the deadliest fires worldwide in recent years.

“Currently, we have 73 deaths and 52 injuries who have been transferred to various medical facilities. to receive further medical care,” said Emergency Management Services spokesman Robert Mulaudzi.

At least seven children were also among those killed in the fire. The youngest child was under 2 years old, he said.

“I am grateful to be alive. Many of us ran trying to find a way to escape the fire. And many people eventually died from smoke inhalation,” said Kenny Bupe, a survivor who was caught in the fire while visiting friends.

The 28-year-old said he was part of a group that was able to break open a locked fire escape door and run for safety. while others “jumped out” of windows to save themselves.

Firefighters at the scene had extinguished the fire and were “busy reducing the fire” while search and recovery operations were ongoing, Mr Mulaudzi said.

“We are moving floor by floor to collect these bodies,” he told local television station ENCA.

An AFP reporter at the scene said emergency services were continuing to remove bodies from the building. They placed it under blankets and sheets on the street outside.

“It’s a really sad day for the city of Johannesburg… in 20 years I have never seen anything like this before,” Mr Mulaudzi said.

It is not clear what caused the fire, which broke out overnight.

Mgcini Tshwaku, a member of the city’s mayoral committee responsible for public safety. Candles used to light the structure inside the structure were said to be likely the cause.

This building has been evacuated. It is located in a business district that was once the economic center of South Africa. It was being used as an informal settlement, Mr Mulaudzi said, pointing out that many people may have been squatting. being there illegally MOV MOV MOV MOV MOV MOV MOV MOV MOV MOV

Fire trucks and ambulances were parked outside the red and white building. It had a burnt window that police had cordoned off. As a small group of observers gathered

Rescuers help survivors Some had obvious injuries and bruises. Meanwhile, two women on a nearby street consoled each other as they cried.

“This morning’s events were orderly. There were bodies on the ground everywhere,” said resident Noma Mahlalela, 41, adding that most of the people living in the place were foreigners.

Officials estimate that more than 80 “huts” have been established inside.

“The fire spread very quickly. It affects different levels of the building because of the use of combustible materials,” Mr Mulaudzi said.

Illegal occupation of abandoned buildings in central Johannesburg is widespread. Many say it is under the control of criminal gangs that collect rent from residents.

South Africa, the country with the most industrialized economy on the continent. attract millions of immigrants many undocumented from other countries in Africa

The fire has been the deadliest in the country in recent years. And it is one of the worst events worldwide.

in december Oil tanker explodes near Johannesburg Killed 34 people while in June. A fire destroyed a dilapidated building in the city. and killed two children under 10 who were locked up in the apartment.

Cabelo Guamanda, Mayor of Johannesburg said out of place Condolences to the family of the victims. describing the incident as a “tragedy”

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Said the death was It was a “massive tragedy” and he hoped an investigation would help prevent it from happening again.

All survivors were cared for regardless of nationality, officials said.