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Nearly two weeks after a fire ripped through an old-age home killing 12 people, several of the aged victims’ remains have still not been claimed.
Thirty-nine elderly people were in the Struisbult Frail Care Centre in Springs when a fire broke out on June 12, forcing the aged and the four nurses caring for them to try to escape the inferno.
With emergency services apparently ignoring phone calls and the residents of the centre trapped by a security gate, the swift intervention of neighbours and staff saved 27 of the elderly.
Of the 12 who died, six have been identified, and most of them buried, but authorities are still looking for relatives of the remaining six.
They have been identified as Grace Mkhize, Anna Catharina Maria Harmse, Pearl Grobler, Mary-Ann Browning, Doris Nomasonto Nhlapo, and a woman known as Nomasomi, who did not have an ID.
Browning was admitted to the centre in 2005, when it was located in Boksburg. Her mother Jackie passed away at the Emseni Care Centre in Hillbrow in 2008.
Mkhize had been experiencing mental problems and was admitted to the centre in 2005. There is no record of any family.
Nhlapo and Nomasomi arrived at the centre in 2008 after a referral from a social worker at Leratong Hospital.
The Department of Social Development plans to run DNA tests to help ascertain the identities of the six. “We are appealing to members of the public to assist us in locating the relatives of the remaining victims,” said Ekurhuleni metro spokesman Zweli Dlamini.
Those who believe a family member may have succumbed in the fire can contact Phumla Nkosi at 082 469 0595. – The Star