Published: Wednesday 02 May, 2018

WATCH Building Collapses in Brazil After a Huge Fire, Many Feared Dead

A high-rise building in Sao Paulo, Brazil has collapsed after a fire. The 26-storey residential building had been abandoned and was being used by homeless people. Many now fear some of these squatters may have perished in the blaze.

Sao Paulo Brazil building fire

The Brazil building fire was so intense that nearby buildings also caught fire, including one across the street. (Sao Paulo Fire Department photo)

The fire began at around 1:20 local time. Witnesses said they heard screaming in the streets and thought there was a fight. The fire escalated quickly, engulfing the high-rise building in a matter of minutes. Authorities blame this on light materials used by the squatters – wood, cardboard and paper, as building partitions. Ninety minutes after the fire began the building collapsed.

Officially, only one person has been listed as killed. He died after being caught by the collapse as emergency workers were trying to rescue residents. However, there are fears that many more died, trapped in the upper floors. Before the collapse, witnesses said they heard screams for help from the upper floors.