In a devastating incident that has sent shockwaves through Johannesburg, a ferocious fire in the city’s Central Business District (CBD) has left a trail of destruction. The incident occurred on Thursday and claimed the lives of seventy-four individuals, including children, while over 50 others were injured.
The inferno unfolded in a building located in Marshalltown, previously serving as a clinic and later providing emergency shelter for women and children. Shockingly, more than 200 families were reported to be residing within the structure, a tragic situation that has raised questions about housing conditions in the area.
As investigators work to determine the cause of the fire, President Cyril Ramaphosa, during his visit to the scene on Thursday, referred to this calamity as a disaster waiting to happen, emphasizing the urgent need for improved safety measures in the region.
Wynand Engelbrecht, Chief Fire Officer at Fire Opps SA, described the aftermath as akin to the aftermath of a bomb blast. He expressed the sheer devastation and chaos that unfolded, citing his extensive 50-year career and noting that he had never encountered a more tragic fire incident.