More than 62 bodies of the people who were burned to death during the inferno that recently gutted the building in Johannesburg’s Central Business District are yet to be identified by their families.
At least 75 people died, and more than 80 sustained injuries during the fire tragedy last week.
Gauteng Department of Health Head of Communication Motalatala Modiba said only 12 bodies were identified and handed over to the families for burial.
“September 2023, 73 families presented at the Diepkloof Forensic Pathology Service mortuary in Soweto to report their loved ones, which has resulted in a line list of 73 names that possibly perished in the Johannesburg inner-city fire being developed.”
“As many families come forth, Antemortem samples are taken from siblings, children, or parents of the deceased,” said Modiba.
He said the South African Police Service Victim Identification Centre unit was currently processing DNA samples drawn from the 62 unidentifiable bodies and had already taken 36 Antemortem swabs from the immediate family members.
He said the bodies would be released after the DNA results were released.
He said the identified bodies had already been released for burial.
Meanwhile, 31 people are still rehabilitating and receiving care in hospitals after 88 patients were seen at various health facilities (Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, South Rand Hospital, Helen Joseph Hospital, Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, and Tembisa Hospital).
The Gauteng Provincial Government has urged the fire victims who want to inquire about their loved ones to contact 0800 203 886 or a direct line during office hours on 0113553048 or 0112415707.
Alternatively, they can visit Diepkloof Mortuary at 2 Collinder Road, Bertsham, Diepkloof, Soweto (behind Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital).