Sunday 20 August 2017

Seven killed as fire hits squatters' high-rise building in Johannesburg

A fireman stands outside the smouldering building in central Johannesburg (AP)
A fireman stands outside the smouldering building in central Johannesburg (AP)
South African authorities said a crane was used to rescue more than 50 people

A fire has broken out in a building where squatters were living illegally in central Johannesburg, killing seven people, South African authorities said.

The victims at the Cape York building included one 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 roof during the fire, the city's emergency services department said.

Seven people were taken to hospital, mayor Herman Mashaba said, and local media reported some were treated for smoke inhalation.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the blaze.

Mr Mashaba lamented the issue of squatters occupying urban buildings in unsafe conditions. He wrote on Twitter: "The tragedy at Cape York in the Inner City is a narrative all too familiar."

Press Association

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