Saturday, 11 March 2017

South Africa: Nine Killed in Cape Town Fires

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Nine people have been killed in three separate fires in Cape Town's shack settlements between Friday night and Saturday morning, the city's fire and rescue services said.
A fire at the Mandela Park informal settlement near Hout Bay claimed two lives and was still burning at mid-morning on Saturday, said Layne.

Residents fled with their belongings from the narrow alleys between the corrugated iron houses to the safety of nearby tar roads, but two were trapped in the flames and died.
"There are going to be hundreds of people displaced," said Layne, adding that disaster relief teams were on their way to assist.
He said that they had battled to get close to the fire because people had been dumping their belongings in the road as they evacuated.
Western Cape Traffic spokesperson Kenny Africa said that the fire brigade had encountered hostility and had to withdraw at one point.
The fire was also reportedly spreading into the mountain above Hout Bay.
The fire broke out in the early hours of Saturday.
In Witsand informal settlement near Delft, a man, a woman, a little girl and boy died when a fire swept through there overnight.
In the Kosovo informal settlement a man, a woman, and a child died when their home went up in flames.
Kosovo was in the news in 2014 during a massive protest over the supply of portaloos for the community which was fed up with living conditions there.
Hout Bay residents have issued a call for donations of toiletries, food and clothes to be taken to collection points at the Oakhurst Spar and Victoria Road Spar, while the animal welfare organisation DARG is mobilising to help the residents' pets.
Layne urged people wanting to help to stay clear of the access roads to Mandela Park so that the fire and rescue vehicles can get through quickly.

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