Johannesburg CBD fire, death toll rises to 77

Johannesburg CBD fire, death toll rises to 77. Image: Twitter

Johannesburg CBD fire: death toll rises to 77

Gauteng Health has confirmed that the death toll of the people killed in the Johannesburg fire incident on Thursday has increased to 77.

Johannesburg CBD fire, death toll rises to 77

Johannesburg CBD fire, death toll rises to 77. Image: Twitter

With more than 30 victims still receiving care in various Gauteng healthcare facilities, the number of fatalities from the Johannesburg hijacked Usindiso Building has now reached 77.

“Out of the 88 patients that were seen at various health facilities – Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, Helen Joseph Hospital, South Rand Hospital, Tembisa Hospital, Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital and Hillbrow Community Health Centre – only 31 people are still receiving care,” said Gauteng Department of Health’s spokesperson Motalatale Modiba.

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“Of the 31 patients in admission, only five still need semi-critical care however, they are fully awake. The admitted patients are not impacting on the normal flow of trauma patients in facilities.”

Conducting post-mortems on the 74 bodies

IOL reported, regarding the deceased, Modiba said authorities are conducting post-mortems on 74 bodies that were burnt in the apartheid-era Central Pass Office.

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“As more families come forth to report their loved ones who might have perished in the fire incident, the Gauteng Department of Health can confirm that it is on track to complete conducting post-mortems on the 74 deceased bodies. By Saturday evening, pathologist had done post-mortems on 58 bodies and were only left with 16 to be concluded on Sunday (today),” he said.

“There are 62 unidentifiable bodies at the Diepkloof Forensic Pathology Services mortuary and 12 identifiable corpses.”
According to Modiba, thus far 40 families have visited the facility in search of their loved ones, leading to the development of a list of 66 names of people who may have died in the fire.

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How many bodies have been identified from the Johannesburg fire?

“Nine families have already identified their loved ones form the 12 identifiable bodies. Once the families conclude necessary processes and produce required identification documents the mortal remains will be release to them for burial,” he said.

“The South African Police Service’s Victim Identification Centre has been hard at work and so far, 43 DNA samples have been taken by from the 74 bodies with 13 antemortem swabbing (DNA samples for families) linking to 23 of the unidentifiable people have been done. Antemortem samples will only be taken form the siblings or the parent of the deceased.”

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In order to connect families with their deceased loved ones, the samples collected from the deceased and from the family members will be cross-referenced to match them.