Brazilian firefighters said Wednesday that 49 people were missing after a building in Sao Paulo collapsed on Tuesday.
Forty-nine people were missing Wednesday after the dramatic collapse of a 24-story tower in central Sao Paulo, according to a new record of firefighters. It was not known, however, whether these missing persons were actually in the tower at the time of the tragedy.
Firefighters said Tuesday that only three people were missing, including a man about to be rescued by the time the tower collapsed after catching fire. “The firefighters continue the search” and there are “49 missing”, they announced in a tweet, the day after the fire of the tower that could have been, according to the press, triggered by a domestic accident.
“We want housing”
On Wednesday the rescue teams, accompanied by specially trained dogs, were working on the still smoking rubble of the building, in search of possible survivors. “Firefighters are cooling the debris in places where the temperature is higher, using thermal cameras … In the first 48 hours, we must remove debris manually, we do not use heavy machinery”, explained firefighter spokesman Guilherme Derrite.
The building, a former police headquarters, was occupied by 146 families of squatters and was in a state of disrepair, in defiance of all safety rules. President Michel Temer visited the scene Tuesday, where he was very badly received by a crowd shouting to him: “We want housing!” His bodyguards had to quickly remove him from the accident area due to hostility from the residents.