Antonio Guterres offers his condolences to families of victims and government and people of South Africa, says spokesman
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed sorrow Thursday over a deadly building fire in the South African city of Johannesburg.
“The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by the news of the fire that reportedly claimed the lives of more than 70 people on 31 August in Johannesburg, South Africa,” said his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, in a statement.
“In this moment of great sadness and grief, he conveys his sincere condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of South Africa,” said Dujarric. “He wishes a prompt recovery to the injured.”
The death toll currently stands at 73.
Dujarric said the UN Country Team in South Africa stands ready to work with the authorities to provide assistance to those affected and to prevent further incidents of this nature.
According to media reports, the building was abandoned and people were living there illegally. It is believed that more than 100 people were inside the building at the time of the fire. So far, more than 50 people have been evacuated and treated for various injuries.
There are several abandoned dilapidated buildings in the Johannesburg city center that are illegally occupied.