Families of the victims of the Johannesburg inner-city fire that resulted in the death of more than 70 people, can call a hotline to assist them to trace their missing loved ones, as identification of the deceased bodies at the mortuary begins on Friday.
The toll-free hotline was set-up by the Gauteng Provincial Department to assist those families searching for loved ones who have either been hospitalised or are deceased.
Following the devastating fire that razed a hijacked building in Marshalltown, Johannesburg in the early hours of Thursday morning, mop-up operations have begun.
At least 74 people, including children, died in the blaze, while many more have been hospitalised for injuries sustained in the escape.
Victims were transported to be treated at Gauteng hospitals, including 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.
By Thursday afternoon, 16 patients were discharged, 17 were admitted and others were still waiting to be seen by doctors.
Over 200 families have been displaced, the City said on Thursday.
The 74 deceased bodies were processed at the Gauteng Forensic Pathology Service (FPS) mortuary in Diepkloof. These bodies include 40 males, 24 females and 10 whose gender has remained undetermined as they were burnt beyond recognition.
There are also four body parts that have been discovered.
A family member or relative who wishes to identify their loved ones should have their original Identity Document (ID), ID of the deceased or birth certificate, if the deceased is a child. If the deceased is a foreign national, a passport, asylum seeker certificate or a letter from country of origin confirming who the deceased is, and to whom the remains should be handed over to, is needed.
The Diepkloof FPS is located at 2 Collinder Road, Diepkloof in Soweto. The facility, where the identification of the bodies will take place, will also be open on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 3pm. Counselling services will also be on hand for families.
According to the Gauteng Provincial Department, the Digital Fingerprint System will be used to identify unknown bodies who have visible fingerprints.
Family members can call the following numbers for assistance -
Toll-free number: 080-020-3886
Direct line: 011-355-3048 or 011-241-5707