Seven die in downtown Johannesburg building blaze

July 5, 2017 15:01
Breaking news

Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

Seven people died in a high-rise apartment block fire in Johannesburg on Wednesday including a man who jumped to his death to escape the flames, emergency services said.

Emergency workers said there could be more bodies inside the Cape York building in South Africa's commercial capital and that they had launched a search operation.

Fifty people were rescued from the building and some were being treated for smoke inhalation, emergency services spokesman Nana Hadebe said, adding that the fire had been contained.

Residents made ropes from sheets to get out through their apartment windows to flee the blaze, witnesses said on Twitter.

Hadebe said the cause of the fire, in an impoverished downtown neighbourhood near the Ellis Park rugby stadium as well as the tourist district of Maboneng, was not immediately known.

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