Partial collapse of building kills 1 in Brazil

AP News
Posted: Feb 07, 2012 12:46 PM
Partial collapse of building kills 1 in Brazil

A 13-story building partially collapsed in an industrial suburb outside Sao Paulo, Brazil killing a 3-year-old girl, firefighters said Tuesday.

The concrete floor of the top story collapsed and took down all the other floors in the building, said Vanessa Andrade, a fire department spokeswoman.

The building remains standing, and there are no indications that its shell was damaged, she added.

Six people were injured in the Monday night collapse, and at least one person, a 25-year-old nurse who worked in one of the offices, is known to be missing.

Most of the building's 74 units were occupied by commercial and doctors' offices and one luncheonette.

Victor Lutti of the Sao Bernardo do Campo police department told reporters there were no signs that the collapse was caused by an explosion and that investigators are trying to determine if the building had a structural flaw.

The building's superintendent, Lauro Salera told the UOL Internet news portal that no unauthorized construction work of renovation was taking place inside the building.

Luiz Marinho, the city's mayor, said the building had been recently undergone a routine safety inspection by the fire department that found no problem.

Monday's incident came less than two weeks after three buildings collapsed in downtown Rio de Janeiro, killing at least 17 people.

Authorities have said they suspect unauthorized construction work inside a 20-story building created structural damage that led to the fall.

Officials believe the falling building wrenched down two neighboring office buildings.