At least 58 people have died in a building fire in Johannesburg.

At least 58 people were killed and dozens injured when a fire ripped through a building in downtown Johannesburg early Thursday morning, city officials said.

Authorities were still trying to determine what caused the fire, which engulfed a five-story abandoned building that had been overtaken by squatters and turned into a sprawling informal settlement. There was a mill.

Mgcini Tshwaku, a Johannesburg city councilman who oversees public safety, said when he arrived at the scene, the structure was engulfed in flames and people were jumping from it. It is one of many dilapidated buildings in the city where homeless people have taken up residence, Mr Tshwako said in an interview on ENCA, a South African television news station.

Mr Tshwako said people often light fires inside these informal settlements to stay warm. He said that many abandoned buildings in the city have been occupied due to lack of affordable housing.

This is a developing story.

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