At least one killed after building burns down in Sao Paulo

by Garry Watts May 2, 2018, 1:04
At least one killed after building burns down in Sao Paulo

It was unclear if there were victims.

An abandoned office building in the center of the southeastern Brazilian city of Sao Paulo collapsed Tuesday after catching fire, leaving at least one person dead, according to local authorities.

A rescue worker along with a sniffer dog searches for victims on a collapsed building in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil May 1, 2018. Hours after the blaze started, the building - stretching more than 20 stories - collapsed. Debris could be seen falling into the surrounding streets.

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The city and state governments have been working for years to forcibly remove squatters from buildings in central São Paulo, with plans for revitalising the area.

It is not clear how many people were in the building at the time but 50 families are registered as living in the block, according to local media. That blaze was brought under control relatively quickly, São Paulo Fire Brigade Lieutenant André Elias told Globo TV.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. It was regularly occupied by squatters, and it is possible that groups of homeless people were using the building when the fire broke out. "Others are less established and more precarious". The cause of such a dramatic reduction may be because former Sao Paulo Mayor Joao Doria cracked down on squatter communities downtown in a bid to revitalize the area. Fair-housing activists had criticized his efforts saying he should focus on creating affordable housing to the tens of thousands who need it. Firefighters continued trying to fully extinguish the flames amid the debris of concrete chunks and twisted metal pipes.

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