On August 31, 2023, a tragic incident unfolded in Johannesburg, South Africa, as a fire erupted in a five-storey building located in the city’s central business district. According to a report by News24, at least 20 individuals lost their lives, while 43 others sustained injuries.
The fire broke out in the early hours of Thursday morning, engulfing the building situated at the intersection of Albert and Delvers streets. Robert Mulaudzi, a spokesperson for the Johannesburg Emergency Management Services, stated that the blaze commenced around 01:30.
ENCA, a news outlet, disclosed that approximately 50 people are presently undergoing medical treatment for injuries and smoke inhalation incurred during the incident.
Tragically, this incident marks another instance of building fires in the Johannesburg city center resulting in a substantial loss of life. City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services corroborated the occurrence, with spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi confirming that the firefighters responded to the fire that consumed a five-storey structure at the aforementioned location. The emergency response began at 1:30 am.
Efforts to mitigate the disaster included the evacuation of individuals from the building while simultaneously engaging in firefighting operations. The initial assessment revealed that ten people had succumbed to the fire at the scene itself. An additional 42 individuals received on-site medical attention before being transported to various healthcare facilities for further treatment.
The exact cause of the fire remains undetermined and is currently under investigation. The City of Johannesburg Disaster Management has taken steps to provide assistance to the families affected by this devastating event.
As more information becomes available, this story will continue to develop and unfold.