15 killed in South Africa orphanage fire

Firefighters and paramedics carry out the bodies from a burnt orphanage at Newcastle in Kwa Zulu-Natal in South Africa yesterday. (AFP)

Fire raged through an orphanage in South Africa yesterday killing 15 people, including 13 children, said government officials.

Nine people were injured in the blaze at Newcastle in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal, a police spokesman said.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known, he added. Authorities could not say how many people were living at the Hope in Christ Home orphanage as most documents burned in the blaze.

The dead included the director of the home and her four children, Ngema said. The children killed in the blaze were aged two to 15, he said.

South Africa's crippling AIDS epidemic has left the country with about 1.5 million orphans, in a country of 48 million people.

 

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