Disasters & Accidents

Young girl dies after building collapse in Rio de Janeiro

(Update: adds information on casualties)

Rio de Janeiro, Jun 3 (EFE).- A child died and at least three others were injured Thursday after a four-story residential building collapsed in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.

Six teams of firefighters and ambulances were at the scene of the accident in the western suburb of Rio das Pedras.

One of the officers of the fire department, Colonel Leandro Monteiro, told journalists that a girl between two and three years old had died. Four people were rescued from the rubble and taken to hospital, although two of them were discharged hours later.

Firefighters were still working to locate and free are at least two more victims inside the collapsed building.

“It’s a job of a lot of calm, a lot of patience. Our dogs are helping a lot. We are dealing with information at every moment,” Colonel Leandro Monteiro said.

Witnesses heard loud noises at around 2.00 local time (5.00 GMT) and the building collapsed about an hour and 20 minutes later.

A fire at the building has also been brought under control by firefighters.

Although the authorities have not said what caused the collapse, the deputy mayor of Rio’s west zone, Thalita Galhardo, did not rule out that the property, like many others in the largely poor area, was built illegally.

“Unfortunately, the constructions here are not legal and this type of accident ends up happening,” said Galhardo in an interview to Globo.

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