At least 73 dead after Johannesburg building occupied by squatters and homeless people catches fire
Up to 200 people may have been occupying the building, a witness said.
A rundown five-story building that was occupied by squatters and homeless people went up in flames overnight in Johannesburg, killing at least 73 people early Thursday morning, according to officials in South Africa's largest city.
Some may have died when they threw themselves out of the windows to escape the blaze, a local government official said, according to The Associated Press.
One witness said he saw babies being thrown out of the burning building and that at least one man died when he jumped and hit the sidewalk "head first."
Up to 200 people may have been occupying the building, a witness said, including in the basement. Other people estimated that even more lived in the building.
At least seven of the victims were children, with the youngest being 1-year-old, an emergency services spokesperson said.
More than 140 families were affected by the inferno, but officials were unsure how many were in the building when the blaze began, and many of them were foreign nationals, officials said.