Joburg CBD fire: 62 out of 74 bodies burnt beyond recognition


By Staff Reporter

JOHANNESBURG – It has come to light that 62 out of 74 people who died in fire that tore through a five-story building in Marshalltown, in the early hours of Thursday morning, are burnt beyond recognition.

The Gauteng Department of Health said all the recovered bodies were transferred to the Diepkloof Mortuary in Soweto, adding that only 12 of them are identifiable.

Speaking just outside the mortuary on Friday, Gauteng acting CEO of pathology Thembalethu Mpahlaza said the unidentified bodies could only be traced through DNA from family members.

He added that they’re working to determine the cause of deaths.

“We have to subject those bodies to ascertain, maybe that none of them had gunshot wounds or bullets before they got burnt; that process is ongoing. We’re affected by the issue of load shedding last night [Thursday] which has caused delays in terms of finalising that process.

Of those killed in the fire, 24 were women, 40 were men,12 were children and the gender of 10 bodies couldn’t be identified.

The department has called on the families of the deceased to come and identify the victims who were not burnt beyond recognition.


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