Emergency services spokesman says cause of fire not known yet
At least 63 people were killed in a fire at a five-story building in South Africa’s Johannesburg city in the early hours of Thursday, according to emergency services officials.
Robert Mulaudzi, the spokesman for the Johannesburg Emergency Management Services, told reporters that they were alerted about the fire at around 1.30 a.m. local time (2330GMT Wednesday).
“At this stage, we don’t know what might have been the cause of the fire. Since it is an abandoned building, it might be illegal electricity connection or a heating device,’’ he said at the scene where emergency services officials were pulling out bodies.
The five-story building is reported to be abandoned and people were allegedly living in illegally.
Mulaudzi said firefighters evacuated several people who were inside the building when they arrived at the scene and the injured were treated on the scene or transported to hospitals. The death toll is expected to rise.