Fire Causes Collapse of Tall Building in São Paulo, Brazil
Fire Causes Collapse of Tall Building in São Paulo, Brazil
Corpo de Bombeiros de São Paulo Twitter
02 May, 2018, 01:49
A burning multi-storey house collapsed in the center of the Brazilian metropolis of Sao Paulo.
Footage of the building collapsing has been shared online, showing huge flames and billowing black smoke.
The block was occupied by rough sleepers and a number of people are believed to be trapped in the rubble.
Globo TV reported some 150 people lived in the building, but most were not inside at the time of the fire and subsequent collapse. Images showed the floors falling on themselves like dominoes and debris flying in all directions.
One resident, Romulo de Souza, told Globo TV that the fire started on the fourth floor. Firefighters continued trying to fully extinguish the flames amid the debris of concrete chunks and twisted metal pipes. With such a large population, affordable housing remains a concern, and this fire in a building where squatters lived will shine a light on that serious issue.
The fire is sure to put a spotlight on the occupations, which are led by highly organized fair-housing groups that take over and then fight for ownership.
Clearing debris and accounting for people who had been in the building could likely take days. Local media on Tuesday reported that between 50 and 150 were now living there, underscoring the sometimes fluid nature of such makeshift dwellings. According to Associated Press, "many such dwellings are run like regular apartment buildings, with doormen and residents paying monthly fees and utility bills".
São Paulo state Governor Márcio França, at the scene, told the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper it was a "tragedy foretold".
The city of Sao Paulo is Brazil's most populous, and it is among the world's most populous cities.
Brazilian President Michel Temer visited the ruins early Tuesday morning, but rushed away after victims began throwing rocks and debris at his auto.
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