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Burning Skyscraper Collapsed in Sao Paulo
02 May 2018, 01:06 | Rufus Hill
Brazil fire: São Paulo building collapses in huge blaze
A fire in Sao Paulo, Brazil, brought down a high rise building occupied by squatters on Tuesday with at least one confirmed casualty.
Local workers said the former Federal Police building was 26 storeys tall and occupied by groups of homeless people.
The BBC reports that the fire began around 1.20am local time (4.20am GMT), and that over 100 firefighters attended the scene.
Though a fire department spokesman told CNN the department did not expect any deaths or injuries, local newspaper Estadão said at least one person had died and others were thought to be still trapped in the rubble.
An adjacent building caught fire, but was evacuated and no one was injured.
An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire.
"It was a matter of seconds but we couldn't save him", firefighter Max Mena said.
Clearing debris and accounting for people who had been in the building could likely take days.
The city and state governments have been working for years to forcibly remove squatters from buildings in central Sao Paulo, with plans for revitalising the area.
The governor said it was legally hard to force people to evacuate the old and decaying buildings. Firefighters continued trying to fully extinguish the flames amid the debris of concrete chunks and twisted metal pipes.
São Paulo governor, Marcio França, went to the site early Tuesday morning and told a TV news crew that these buildings are hazardous to live in. Highly organized squatters have taken over as many as 70 buildings in the downtown area of South America's largest city.
He added: "There is not even a minimal condition for people to live in there". "People live there in desperation".
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