São Paulo Tower Collapsed After Fire

Glen Norman
May 2, 2018

One person has been confirmed dead after a huge fire engulfed and destroyed an apartment building in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo early Tuesday, according to state-run news agency Agencia Brasil.

Police officers look as firefighters work to extinguish the fire in a building that collapsed after catching fire in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on May 1, 2018.

The blaze is now under control, the spokesman added.

The abandoned former office building had 22 stories, according to the fire department and not 26 stories as reported by some media.

The cause of the fire was not known.

Firefighters continue to search for survivors through the burning rubble. "The building was in ruins; the fire department inspected it a short time ago".

Firefighter Lt. Andre Elias told Globo TV that at least one person had been killed in the collapse. Highly organized squatters have taken over as many as 70 buildings in the downtown area of South America's largest city. Firefighters set up a perimeter and worked to evacuate people. She admitted knowing that the building offered serious safety risks but said her family had nowhere else to go, "I was afraid but I could not live anywhere else". "People think that people who live in an occupation are animals".

São Paulo Governor Márcio França said the building was an accident waiting to happen but that its residents had resisted leaving. "This was a tragedy foretold".

Brazilian President Michel Temer visited the ruins early Tuesday morning, but rushed away after victims began throwing rocks and debris at his auto.

Temer, a deeply unpopular president due to various corruption scandals and attempts to reduce Brazil's relatively expansive welfare net, left the scene quickly amid jeers from some of the displaced residents.

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