Brazil: Building collapse leaves over a dozen dead

World Sunday 09/July/2023 15:46 PM
By: d
Brazil: Building collapse leaves over a dozen dead

Brasília: The collapse of an apartment building claimed the lives of 14 people in Brazil, including six children, firefighters said on Saturday.

The partial collapse of the illegally occupied residential structure occurred in the Paulista suburb of Recife, the capital of northeastern Pernambuco state.

Heavy rains lashed the region during the incident, catching many residents off guard as they slept.

Search and rescue teams, assisted by sniffer dogs, combed through the rubble, managing to save two 15-year-old girls and a 65-year-old woman.

An 18-year-old man, initially rescued, succumbed to his injuries later.

'Coffin block'
Although occupation of the building had been forbidden since 2010, the structure had become a refuge for homeless people.

The Paulista city hall referred to the structure as a "coffin block," a term used for large-scale buildings constructed in the 1970s in Recife's metropolitan region, as reported by the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.

City officials acknowledged that the issue of closed buildings being used by people in Paulista is a chronic problem and was even raised during a recent visit by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a Pernambuco native.

Pernambuco Governor Raquel Lyra expressed her condolences via Twitter and assured the affected families of the state government's unwavering support.

Second building collapse
The incident in Paulista marks the second tragedy of its kind within three months in Pernambuco.

In April, the disintegration of a building in the neighboring city of Olinda claimed at least five lives.

Building collapses in Brazil are often concentrated in impoverished neighborhoods where illegal construction is rampant.

Recife, a coastal city with a population of approximately 1.5 million, has been grappling with incessant heavy rainfall in recent days.