44 missing after building collapses in Sao Paulo

Updated 2018-05-03 00:42:17 Xinhua

Forty-four people on Wednesday remained missing one day after a fire destroyed an abandoned 26-story office building in downtown Sao Paulo in southeastern Brazil, local authorities said.

The Wilton Paes de Almeida building, formerly police headquarters, caught fire in the early hours of Tuesday and suddenly crashed down completely about one and a half hours afterwards.

It was then being occupied by more than 140 homeless families, an estimated total of 372 people, officials said.

More than 100 firefighters are continuing to search for survivors with drones installed featuring thermal imaging cameras trying to locate people buried under the debris.

So far, 44 squatters are still unaccounted for, said Sao Paulo's fire department. It is believed that they may have been inside the building when it collapsed. One man who was rescued is the only one confirmed to have then been inside the building.

The fire had spread to two neighboring buildings and a church, which was partially destroyed. There have been no reports of victims from other buildings.

The cause of the Sao Paulo building fire remains unknown. There were reportedly no basic fire prevention measures in the abandoned building which was built in the 1960s.

Media reports said the fire started in the fifth floor of the building and spread quickly due to the many wooden walls.

The presidential office issued a statement saying President Michel Temer ordered National Integration Minister Antonio de Padua de Deus to "direct all efforts to minimize the damages" caused by the tragedy.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58April 20 2019 08:59:17

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16April 20 2019 08:59:17

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18April 20 2019 08:59:17

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords