At least 74 people have died including 12 children after a Johannesburg building fire.

Reports say, More than 50 others were injured.

Officials say it is unclear what sparked the blaze at the city centre five-storey building, which had been abandoned but was being occupied by homeless people.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called it a “tragedy”, adding that the “unprecedented” incident was a “wake-up call”.

In a news conference at the site of the fire, Mr Ramaphosa commended emergency services, who arrived at the scene 10 minutes after the fire was reported.

Ten of the bodies recovered from the fire were unidentifiable, a representative of the health department told the news conference.

Johannesburg city manager Floyd Brink said 200 families were affected by the fire and “all efforts” were taken to provide accommodation.

Johannesburg mayor Kabelo Gwamanda said displaced survivors would have temporary accommodation for three days.


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