At Least 10 People Killed In Brazil Fire: Officials

At least 10 people were killed Friday in a fire that broke out in a defunct hotel being used as a makeshift homeless shelter in the city of Porto Alegre in southern Brazil, officials said

Porto Alegre, (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 26th Apr, 2024) At least 10 people were killed Friday in a fire that broke out in a defunct hotel being used as a makeshift homeless shelter in the city of Porto Alegre in southern Brazil, officials said.

Emergency workers confirmed 10 victims at the site, which was operating without proper authorization, said the fire department for Rio Grande do Sul state, whose capital is Porto Alegre.

Nine injured people were rescued and taken to local hospitals, emergency officials said.

“It happened very fast. People yelled ‘fire!’ When I saw it, it was already two doors from mine. I ran out as fast as I could, because there was already a lot of smoke,” an unidentified resident of the building told news site G1.

The fire broke out around 2:00 am (0500 GMT), officials said. It took firefighters around three hours to bring it under control.

“Forensic experts are at the scene to identify the victims and investigate the cause,” the fire department said in a statement.

An AFP photographer at the scene early Friday saw firefighters still at work around the badly charred, partly destroyed three-story building.

Images in Brazilian media from overnight showed the building engulfed in flames as firefighters battled to extinguish them.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva sent his condolences to the victims’ families, saying the tragedy left him “saddened,” in a message on X, formerly Twitter.

– ‘Tragedy foretold’ –

State Governor Eduardo Leite said he was “deeply shocked.”

“We will continue working on the aftermath of this tragedy and the investigation of the causes. My condolences to the victims’ families,” Leite wrote on X, saying the fire department had dispatched five trucks and dozens of firefighters to battle the flames.

State lawmaker Matheus Gomes accused the city government of giving funds to the homeless shelter even though it had faced reports of non-compliance with regulations “for years.”

“There needs to be an investigation not only into the fire, but the entire chronicle of this tragedy foretold,” he wrote on X.

The building belongs to a network of budget youth hostel-style hotels in Porto Alegre.

Firefighters said the shelter did not have an operating permit or fire prevention plan.

The deadly fire comes 11 years after another in Rio Grande do Sul state.


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