The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Tuesday, 29 October 2019 00:00cat

7-story building failure in Brazil: 9 people dead

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A 7-story apartment building suddenly gave way trapping people under the rubble.

The structure that was located in Fortaleza city (north-east of Brazil) collapsed at about 10:30 a.m. on October 15, 2019.

Rescue operations were immediately launched. According to recent updates, 9 people were killed and 7 were pulled out of the rubble. “For now we are trying to hear sounds that indicate where people are. There are several layers of debris,” a spokesman from the local fire department stated during the operations.

The building is still prone to further collapse, therefore, the rescue efforts were challenging. "It is a difficult situation; there are parts (of the building) that can still collapse,” Cleyton Bezerra, the Fire Department Commander, stated. 3 workers from the Red Cross were injured but they are not in a severe threat.

Remarkably, a student of architecture that was trapped inside the building sent a selfie to his family to let them know that he was not injured. He appears not to be affected by the collapse as he is smiling and giving a thumbs-up.

Daiane Moreira, a local that was working nearby the building when the failure occurred, told the journalists that he heard a blaring sound when the structure gave way and he saw a man running out of the building with a broken arm.

The causes of the failure are under investigation but, according to officials, the structure was built without a permit. Francineudo Rodrigues, a local building worker emphasized the lack of the building's maintenance. “I’ve seen cracks in columns; I’ve seen many problems that were not solved since I started coming here,” Rodrigues stated.

The failure underlines Brazil's infrastructure vulnerability as building collapses have become common. According to Inter B, a consulting firm, the country would have to invest about $100 billion to address the existing structural issues. The fund is currently unavailable since public spending has been highly reduced. “It is essential that public funds be restored so infrastructure investment can be sustainably restarted,” Cláudio Frischtak, Inter B President, stated.

Click the video below to watch the moment of the building's collapse caught on a security camera.

Sources: Washingtonpost Japantimes BBC


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