Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu has joined other world leaders to commiserate with the people of South Africa over the Thursday fire incident that razed a 5-storey building in the central district of Johannesburg, killing over 70 persons and injuring dozens more.
President Tinubu’s message to the country was contained in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale.
The statement said: “In this moment of tragedy, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families affected by this devastating fire incident.
“The extent of this loss is truly profound, and during this challenging time, please be assured that Nigeria stands in unity with you,” President Tinubu said, while praying for a speedy recovery for the wounded.
The President also highlighted the great relationship between Nigeria and South Africa and expressed hope that the collective strength of the South African people, relevant government agencies and the unwavering spirit of Africa will positively impact the healing and rehabilitation of all those affected.
The city of Johannesburg experienced tragedy on Thursday as a 5-storey building in its central business district caught fire with over 100 persons inside, mostly foreigners, killing over 73 of them and injuring at least 50 other persons.
Many of the over 70 people who succumbed to the fire inside the Albert Street building, died as they tried to escape through a locked gate on the ground floor. Firefighters found them piled on top of one another, an official in Johannesburg told reporters.
The cause of the fire has not been determined but a resident that survived the inferno told News24 that the fire was allegedly caused by a burning candle.
According to a statement issued on Thursday evening by the Gauteng department of health, total bodies recovered from the building is 74, including 12 children, 40 men, 24 women and 10 of undetermined gender. The statement also indicated that family members need to bring an ID document or a birth certificate in the case of children to claim the body.
If the person was a foreign national, a passport, asylum seeker certificate or letter from their country of origin confirming the identity of the person and who the remains should be handed over to would also be required.