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Why did the Johannesburg fire claim so many lives?

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Overnight, a devastating fire tore through a dilapidated five-story apartment block in Johannesburg, claiming the lives of over 70 individuals. This tragic incident stands as one of the most severe disasters in a city grappling with widespread poverty, household fires, and homelessness.

The apartment building, now a charred and smouldering structure, remained a grim scene as emergency personnel gathered nearby and covered bodies with blankets on a neighboring street. The property is under the ownership of municipal authorities, who struggled, even after 12 hours since the fire’s outbreak, to provide a clear account of the occupants. Reports indicate that criminal gangs might have exploited the building, renting out rooms in a process referred to as “hijacking.”

Among the witnesses, student Thando le Nkosi Manzini recounted seeing a man tragically leap from the fourth floor, losing his life instantly. Survivor Omar Arafat, while wiping away tears with his t-shirt, shared the harrowing tale of losing his sister in the fire, an escape he narrowly managed. The fire not only claimed lives but also left individuals like Arafat and his family with nothing, their possessions consumed by the flames.

The toll of this tragedy is substantial, with Thembalethu Mpahlaza of Forensic Pathology Services confirming the recovery of 74 bodies, including 12 children and 24 women. Additionally, more than 50 people were initially reported as receiving treatment for injuries sustained during the fire.

The President addresses the nation

Addressing the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his condolences and voiced a desire for comprehensive investigations to prevent such a catastrophe from recurring. As Ramaphosa visited the site, the anguished cries of grieving relatives filled the air, underscoring the profound impact of the disaster.

Ramaphosa acknowledged the urgency of addressing housing challenges within the inner city, labeling the incident a “wake-up call.” Initially, authorities speculated that squatters occupied the building. However, Lebogang Isaac Maile, head of the Human Settlements department for Gauteng province, indicated that criminal gangs might have exploited vulnerable individuals by extorting them or providing rentals.

The building, historically a heritage structure from the apartheid era, holds significance as a site where Black South Africans once obtained “dompas” documents allowing them to work in white-owned areas. Johannesburg’s deep-seated disparities remain evident, with staggering poverty, unemployment, and housing shortages. The city is home to approximately 15,000 homeless people, exacerbating the housing crisis.

Household fires, especially prevalent in impoverished neighborhoods, are a recurrent issue in Johannesburg. Residents often resort to candles and wood fires due to chronic power shortages. The exact cause of this devastating fire remains under investigation.

Maile emphasized that this tragedy underscores the chronic housing problem within the province, with around 1.2 million people in dire need of housing solutions. The incident serves as a somber reminder of the urgent need for comprehensive measures to address housing disparities and prevent further loss of life in the future.

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Amazon Prime’s ‘The Boys’ Season 4 will explore contemporary political polarisation

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Show creator Eric Kripke hints at a narrative that will not shy away from uncomfortable truths, promising a season that challenges viewers to confront their own beliefs and biases.

Known for its bold satire and unflinching critique of societal issues, the series seems poised to dissect the current climate of division with its trademark blend of dark humour and gritty realism, as reported by Reuters.

Director/Filmmaker Rob Fantozzi unpacks the latest from The Boys and beyond in the entrainment world. #featured

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Tesla shareholders approve historic $56B Elon Musk pay package

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Tesla shareholders have voted to approve Elon Musk’s unprecedented $56 billion compensation package, underscoring their confidence in his leadership and vision for the electric car company.

The package, which is tied to ambitious performance targets, includes a mix of stock options and bonuses contingent upon Tesla’s financial and operational milestones over the next decade.

As reported by Reuters, the approval underscores the support that Musk enjoys from Tesla’s retail investor base, many of whom are vocal fans of the mercurial billionaire.

The proposal passed despite opposition from some large institutional investors and proxy firms.

#featured

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The secret aspect of exercise and trauma release

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Recent studies have shed new light on the profound impact sedentary behavior is having on mental health.

A meta-analysis revealed a strong correlation between increased sitting time and higher rates of depression.

Now, many experts believe that movement and exercise are not only beneficial for mental health but also play a crucial role in trauma release.

Jenni Crumpton Ross, the President and CEO of Kula for Karma joins Veronica Dudo to discuss.

#IN AMERICA TODAY #trending #mentalhealth #business #wellbeing

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