Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Fire claims 12 victims in Johannesburg city centre

Twelve people lost their lives in a fire in an illegally occupied building in the centre of Johannesburg early on Tuesday morning. At least 33 people were injured as they scrambled to safety. Emergency spokesperson Malcolm Midgley said that some of the injured jumped from the first floor of the abandoned factory or warehouse on the corner of Commissioner and Nugget streets. Some 150 beds were found in the building. Midgley says those killed appear to have died as a result of suffocation because they could not flee from the flames in time. The cause of the blaze is not yet known.

And in the Cape Peninsula one person died when a fire destroyed a dwelling in Site C in Khayelitsha on Monday night. In another blaze, 16 informal houses were burnt to the ground in Philippi. There were no casualties, but dozens of people have been left without a roof over their heads.

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