Northern Cape veld fire death toll rises to six

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The South African Army says the current number of soldiers who died during the fire which ripped through the Army Combat Centre in Lohatla in the Northern Cape stands at six.

The fire which is still raging has left three other soldiers injured.

The fire allegedly spread from a nearby mine to the combat centre where soldiers were preparing for the South African Army Vukuhlome exercise on Friday.

The Army’s Rene Mercuur says vehicles and camping equipment were destroyed in the fire.

“The names of the deceased soldiers will only be released once their next of kin have been informed. The focus now is to contain the fire and account for all the members who were in the area.”

VIDEO: The video below has more details and visuals of the fire:

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

South African National Defence Force Union National Secterary Pikkie Greef says, “SANDU sends its condolences to the families of those who passed away and wishes the injured members a speedy recovery. The SANDF will be conducting a board of inquiry as by law into, amongst other things, the circumstances in which these soldiers, equipment and vehicles got caught in the fire.”