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Fire in South Africa with more than 70 deaths: suspect caught

Fire in South Africa with more than 70 deaths: suspect caught
70 people died in this building.
Image: MICHELE SPATARI (APA/AFP/MICHELE SPATARI)

Before a commission of inquiry to determine the cause of the fire, the 29-year-old had previously admitted that he had set fire to the five-story building in the central district of Marshalltown, the South African TV station SABC reported on Tuesday, citing a police spokesman.

The building, known as the “Usindiso” house, was officially empty at the time of the fire in the early morning of August 31, 2023, but hundreds of people were actually living there illegally. Twelve children also died in the flames. The suspect is due to appear in court soon on charges of arson, 76 counts of murder and 120 counts of attempted murder, SABC wrote.

The city center of Johannesburg is considered run-down and dangerous. Companies and businesses moved to surrounding districts many years ago due to the high crime rate. This means that numerous buildings in the city center are empty, many of which are occupied by homeless people. Property owners there have long since stopped maintaining their properties, whose market and rental prices have fallen.

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Source: Nachrichten

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