Burning Skyscraper Collapsed in Sao Paulo

Burning Skyscraper Collapsed in Sao Paulo

Kerry Wise
May 2, 2018

The 26-story abandoned building occupied by squatters in Sao Paulo went up in flames and collapsed early Tuesday, sending fiery debris and plumes of black smoke into nearby buildings and streets.

Survivors described waking in the night to find themselves surrounded by flames and escaping with their children before the tower turned to rubble.

More than 150 firefighters are battling the blaze.

Firefighters said at least one person had been killed in the collapse and that there could be more.

City authorities had been in negotiation with the group to vacate the building since February, Sao Paulo City Hall said.

This photo released by the Sao Paulo Fire Department, shows debris of a building that was engulfed by a fire and collapsed, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

Oil Refinery Explosion Forces Evacuations in Superior
She doesn't know the condition of that person. "The oil refinery just blew up and I'm in the evacuation zone", said Efim Kolobov". The initial fire was out and the scene was declared stable by 11:20 a.m., according to Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger.

An adjacent building also caught fire, but was evacuated and no one was injured.

"The fire started at around 30 past midnight. The building was in ruins; the fire department inspected it a short time ago".

The building, formerly occupied by the federal police force, was believed to contain at least 50 squatter families. Many such dwellings are run like regular apartment buildings, with doormen and residents paying monthly fees and utility bills. Firefighters evacuated the building and contained the fire with no victims or risk of collapse. Highly organized squatters have taken over as many as 70 buildings in the downtown area of South America's largest city.

President Michel Temer, who is Brazil's most unpopular leader on record, with single-digit approval ratings, got a hostile reception when he briefly visited the scene.

Then-mayor of Sao Paulo, Joao Doria, had launched an aggressive crackdown on these communities.

He had envisioned a revitalised downtown, a glitzy showcase for an important financial centres.