Fire in Johannesburg Kills Squatters

Seven dead in high-rise fire

 

South Africa Fatal Fire

A fireman stand outside a smouldering building in downtown Johannesburg, Wednesday, July 5, 2017. A fire broke out in the building in which residents were living illegally, killing several people. (AP Photo)

CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA, Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A fire broke out Wednesday in a building in downtown Johannesburg in which squatters were living illegally, killing seven people, South African authorities said.

The victims at the Cape York building included one person who died after jumping from the high-rise, the African News Agency reported.

A crane was used to rescue more than 50 people from the building’s roof during the fire, the city’s emergency services department said. Seven people were hospitalized, Mayor Herman Mashaba said, and local media said some were treated for smoke inhalation.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the blaze.

Mashaba lamented the phenomenon of squatters who occupy urban buildings in unsafe conditions. He wrote on Twitter “the tragedy at Cape York in the Inner City is a narrative all too familiar.”

All contents © copyright 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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A crane was used to rescue more than 50 people from the building's roof.

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