At least 12 families have been able to identify their loved ones at the Gauteng Forensic Pathology Service (FPS) mortuary in Diepkloof, Soweto, from the 73 who tragically lost their lives in the Johannesburg inner-city building fire last week.
The 12 have been released to the families for burial.
The identification process, initiated on Friday, 01 September 2023, is ongoing, offering a ray of closure to grieving families.
As of Monday, 04 September 2023, 73 families have presented at the facility to report their loved ones, which has resulted in a line list of 73 names that possibly perished in the fire being developed.
The devastating fire, which occurred in a residential five-story building in Marshalltown during the early hours of Thursday, 31 August, claimed the lives of at least 73 people, including 12 children.
“As many families come forth, Antemortem samples are taken from siblings, children or parents of the deceased. The South African Police Service Victim Identification Centre unit is currently processing DNA samples drawn from the 62 unidentifiable bodies and has already taken 36 Antemortem swabs from the immediate family members.
“Once the samples are taken from the deceased and the family members, they will be cross-referenced to match them as part of linking families with their deceased loved one,” said Health Spokesperson Sam Modiba.
Meanwhile, 31 people are still rehabilitating and receiving care in hospital after 88 patients were seen at various Gauteng health facilities since the horrific fire.
In response to the ongoing crisis, the Gauteng Provincial Government has established a dedicated hotline, 0800 203 886, to assist family members seeking information about their hospitalised or deceased loved ones.
Additionally, a direct line is available during office hours at 011 355 3048 or 011 241 5707.
By Thembisa Shologu