A 26-storey building has collapsed after being engulfed in flames in Brazil's largest city, São Paulo, killing at least one person. That blaze was brought under control relatively quickly, Sao Paulo Fire Brigade Lieutenant André Elias told Globo TV.
The newspaper reported that the military had joined the rescue effort, and was attempting to extract a person from the upper floors of the building through an adjacent property when the structure collapsed.
The building was formally a headquarters for federal police but had been abandoned for many years and had been occupied by squatters, according to local media. As firefighters worked to contain the flames, chunks of fiery debris rained down. The disaster is sure to renew attention on squatters and abandoned buildings. Hours after the blaze started, the building - stretching more than 20 stories - collapsed.
Unfortunately, authorities believe several people remain missing, so the search for possible survivors or victims continues, which could end up taking days.
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França said about 150 buildings in the region were occupied by organised groups of squatters, who have pressured the government for years to provide housing for the city's homeless.
Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at a building in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil May 1, 2018. Many such dwellings are run like regular apartment buildings, with doormen and residents paying monthly fees and utility bills.
Not everybody agreed with the former mayor's tactics, though, and others hoped to see the area converted to affordable housing instead of a robust economic showcase.