LIVE UPDATES | Search and rescue operations continue in building gutted by fire in Joburg CBD

WARNING: Sensitive content

01 September 2023 - 07:00 By TimesLIVE
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01 September 2023 - 13:22

DNA testing required to identify Joburg CBD fire victims

The Gauteng health department has revealed 62 victims of the deadly Johannesburg CBD fire that broke out on Thursday were burnt beyond recognition and only 12 are identifiable.

This was revealed by the department at the Diepkloof Forensic Pathology Services (FPS) where families descended on Friday to identify their loved ones.

01 September 2023 - 11:31

Joburg CBD fire tragedy: Families forced to wait as mortuary logistics delay identification

Only a few bodies have been moved to the Diepkloof forensic pathology services (FPS) mortuary, while the remaining bodies are waiting to be transported from the Hillbrow mortuary after a fire in a CBD building claimed 74 lives on Thursday.

The government urged families of the deceased to make their way to the Diepkloof FPS mortuary in Soweto from Friday for the identification of bodies.

The mortuary will also be open on Saturdays and Sundays.

01 September 2023 - 09:26

Identification starts for 74 people who died in Joburg fire — here’s where to look

The process to identify the bodies of 74 people who died when a building in the Johannesburg inner-city was engulfed in flames on Thursday has started. 

The building on the corner of Albert and Delvers streets was gutted in the early hours on Thursday, claiming the lives of 40 males, 24 females and 12 children. 

01 September 2023 - 08:51

Joburg CBD fire sparked by inaction on building hijackings

How mayors promised to tackle the scourge but failed

September 01 2023  - 08:09

A man weeps on the side of the road after learning about the passing of his beloved family member. Such scene were common on Thursday after a fire killed 73 people on corner Albert and Delvers in the Johannesburg inner city.

September 01 2023  - 07:29

Here is what you need to know about getting out of burning buildings

City of Johannesburg EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said it is important to keep safe at all times.

September 01 2023  - 06:00 

TOM EATON | A week is a long time for critics and politicians in the aftermath of a tragedy

For things to improve you need a functioning government, that’s why this tragedy will change nothing

As the horror of the Johannesburg fire becomes clearer, a macabre but familiar South African ritual has begun, with citizens blaming the dead and politicians blaming everyone else as they wait for the standard solution to take effect: the inevitable forgetting of the whole thing a few days later.

Victim-blaming is a well-established tradition in South Africa, but some of what I saw on social media on Thursday morning was in a class of its own. At least one of our compatriots believes that if you come to South Africa from Africa looking for a job, and you don’t have legal permission to be here, you deserve to die in a fire.

August 31 2023 - 21:41

Ten burnt beyond recognition in Marshalltown building fire

At least 10 of the people who died in the Johannesburg CBD blaze on Thursday morning were burnt beyond recognition, says the Gauteng health department. 

31 August 2023 - 21:40

EDITORIAL | The fire is a reminder Joburg is one of the most unequal cities in the world

Instead of looking to blame someone for the Joburg CBD fire, we should look to build something positive from this

31 August 2023 - 21:39

LISTEN | Filth, faeces and mystery landlords: life in a hijacked building in Joburg’s CBD

When Persuade Chimuke woke up to news of a fire in a hijacked building in the inner city on Thursday morning he thought about what would happen if such a thing happened in the building he lives in.

He quickly realised his chances of surviving would be thin. 

August 31 2023 - 19:09

Where to now for residents of fire-ravaged Marshalltown building?

The City of Johannesburg says about 200 households were affected as a result of the fire at a five-storey apartment building which claimed the lives of 74 people as of Thursday afternoon. 

August 31 2023 - 19:08

How the burnt Marshalltown building allegedly got hijacked from an NGO

The building, where more than 70 people died in a fire in Joburg, was allegedly hijacked by a group of ladies housed by the Usindiso Shelter

31 August 2023 - 17:08

‘I was able to save my wife and baby from the fire’: survivor who paid R1,000 monthly ‘rent’

One of the survivors of the fire that gutted a building in the Johannesburg inner city has recounted how he was able to take his wife and child to safety, but he ended up falling from the first floor during the mayhem. 

Sam Daud, 31, was sleeping with his family in one of the rooms on the second floor of the building on the corner of Albert and Delvers streets when he heard people shouting at about 1am. 

August 31 2023 - 17:00

WATCH LIVE | Joburg emergency services brief media on CBD fire

City of Joburg emergency services are giving an update on the latest developments on the deadly fire in Johannesburg’s city centre.

The fire broke out in a building early on Thursday, causing multiple fatalities and injuries.

August 31 2023 - 15:56

Search and rescue operations are still being conducted at the scene of Usindiso Building

August 31 2023  - 15:19

‘A great tragedy has befallen our country’: Ramaphosa on deadly Joburg fire

President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the Johannesburg fire that took the lives of at least 70 people on Thursday as a “tragic disaster”.

Speaking during the unveiling of the expansion of the SAPS forensic science biology laboratory and women in law enforcement parade in Gqeberha on Thursday, Ramaphosa said the country woke up to the “disaster that has befallen our country where a number of people in Johannesburg were engulfed in a blaze and a fire that has resulted in the deaths of more than 60 people and [left] many more injured.

“I would like to offer my deep condolences to the families of those who have passed away and those who are injured and wish a speedy recovery for those who are injured.” 

August 31 2023 - 13:10

Joburg fire: Shelter for abused women was hijacked, cops had made arrests

More than 300 families displaced by a building fire that killed at least 73 people on Thursday will be allocated accommodation and assistance by the provincial and municipal governments.

Firefighters responded to the blaze at the five-storey building on the corner of Alberts and Delvers streets in Marshalltown at about 1.30am.

August 31 2023 - 13:00

August 31 2023 - 12:54

Gift of the Givers is in Marshallstown in the Johannesburg CBD 

August 31 2023 - 12:52

WATCH: A rooftop view of the fire scene

At this hour families are no longer allowed to identify bodies and they are beyond recognition. Loved ones, Neighbours and onlookers have been on the scene since morning.


August 31 2023 - 12:29


August 31 2023 - 12:20

“A situation like this could’ve been avoid ,” says Joburg Council speaker Colleen Makhubela

August 31 2023 - 12:03

'I'm told my brother jumped out of the building:' Search for dad of 5 after fire

A father of five who moved from KwaZulu-Natal to Johannesburg to find work is among those who lived in the city centre building that caught alight in the early hours of Thursday.

Sihle Kenneth Dube, who is in his early 40s, jumped out of the burning building, his sister Ethel Jack was told. It is unclear what happened to him after that. 

August 31 2023 - 11:59

National disaster management ready to assist Joburg after deadly fire, says Presidency minister

Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says the national government is ready to assist the City of Johannesburg after a deadly fire that claimed the lives of 73 people on Thursday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and his cabinet sent condolences to the families and friends of those who died in the fire in a building in the Johannesburg city centre.

August 31 2023 - 11:28


31 August 2023 - 11:20

31 August 2023 - 11:00

Gauteng Forensic Pathology Services onsite and ready to examine the bodies of the people who perished in a fire at a building in the Johannesburg CBD.

31 August 2023 - 10:57


31 August 2023 - 10:50

31 August 2023 - 10:39

Joburg CBD fire: Where you can donate to help fire relief efforts

The Bedfordview Community Policing Forum (CPF) has appealed for food and water donations after a fire broke out in a building in the Johannesburg city centre early on Thursday, causing multiple fatalities and injuries.

31 August 2023 - 10:28

UPDATE: 73 people have died, with the number expected to increase.

31 August 2023 - 10:27

More than 80 'shacks' in hijacked building gutted by fire

The building that caught fire in the Johannesburg city centre on Thursday had been turned into an informal settlement with at least 80 shacks inside.

“The fire spread quickly, affecting different levels of the building because of the combustible materials used,” said Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi.

31 August 2023 - 09:01

‘We are dying’: Shock as Joburg CBD building blaze claims 63 lives

The last words some survivors heard as they rushed to evacuate a blazing building in the Joburg CBD in the early hours of Thursday were “we are dying”.

Sixty-three people have so far been confirmed dead and more than 40 were injured after Usindiso building caught fire at around 1.30am.

31 August 2023 - 08:49

Mother's agonising search for daughter at building gutted by fire in Joburg CBD

Treasurelee Shuping is looking for her 24-year-old daughter Matshidiso Zanele who was living in the Johannesburg building gutted by fire in the early hours of Thursday.

“I’m looking for her, she stayed in the building for over a year now. As soon as I heard the building was on fire I knew I had to run here.

“Now I’m kept in suspense because I don’t know what’s happening, I don’t get any direction. People are being evacuated and the death toll is rising.

31 August 2023 - 06:35

WATCH | Multiple fatalities, including young child, as fire guts building in Joburg CBD

A fire broke out in a building in Johannesburg's city centre early on Thursday, causing multiple fatalities and injuries.

The death toll has risen to 73 and is likely to increase as firefighters make their  way  through the building in a search and rescue mission. 

City of Johannesburg emergency services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said firefighters were alerted to the fire in a building on the corner of Delvers and Albert streets at about 1.30am.

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