Published: Wed, May 02, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Sao Paulo tower building catches fire, collapses

Sao Paulo tower building catches fire, collapses

São Paulo, Brazil's vibrant financial center, is among the world's most populous cities, with numerous cultural institutions and a rich architectural tradition.

Evacuees told the police that part of the building's inhabitants managed to escape on time.

There is no official information on the number of missing persons or on the identity of the one confirmed victim.

A few hours later, as flames engulfed the building of at least 20 stories, it collapsed.

According to the information provided by the Sao Paulo Fire Service, at least 160 personnel and 57 units of equipment were involved in the operation. "We don't know how many people were in the building so we don't know whether we'll find more victims in the ruins".

Witnesses say flames spread quickly from one of the lower floors and set an adjacent building on fire.

The fire had begun at around 1:30 a.m. local time, according to a Sao Paulo Fire Department spokesman.

"There is not even a minimal condition for people to live in there", Franca said.

The mayor of Sao Paulo, Bruno Covas, told reporters at the scene that the state government had offered to provide housing for the displaced families, and Brazil's president, Michel Temer, also offered federal assistance during a visit to the site. The government estimates that almost 4,000 families are living in vacant buildings downtown.

Seven other buildings were evacuated in the surrounding area. "I could not take anything with me".

"I heard several people shouting". "The state is acting as if us, the occupiers, us, from the movements, are responsible for this".

First responders were using dogs and removing rubble by hand in the hope of finding survivors, the Sao Paulo Fire Department tweeted. It was not clear what started the fire.

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