The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Monday, 19 August 2019 00:00cat

Two Houses collapsed in Chile: At least 6 fatalities

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Two Houses collapsed in Chile Two Houses collapsed in Chile Reuters

At least 6 people were reported dead after two houses collapsed in Valparaiso, a major city and port of Chile located about 75 kilometers northwest of Santiago.

The residences were located in the iconic Quarter of Valparaiso which still preserves a characteristic city design and urban development and consists a world heritage site of UNESCO. Nevertheless, the city is build in hilly terrain where ground instabilities are common.

The unfortunate incident occurred on August 13, 2019 night. Officials have not yet clarified what were the major causes of the collapse. However, a landslide that took place under the houses occurred on the same day, according to authorities. Moreover, at the time of the collapse, 15 people were standing on the stairway that connected the 2 buildings.

Rescue teams, including 150 firefighters, rushed at the scene in seach of more people that may have been trapped in the rumble. Six people are surely dead. "There are at least six people dead. Two of these have been recovered and firefighters are working to find the other four bodies", the Fire Department, stated. 2 more were hospitalized with minor injuries. The victims were located inside or nearby the residences when the collapse occurred.

Unfortunately, authorities warned that the number of victims may rise when the search and rescue operation is completed. “What we know for sure is that under the rubble, beneath this retaining wall, are at least four people but only when we lift that wall, which is a highly complex job, will we be able to determine for sure the total number of dead”, Jorge Martínez, the superintendent of Valparaiso region, stated.


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