11 Feared Dead in Rio Buildings Collapse

Two high-rises fall, witnesses suspect gas
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2012 12:03 AM CST
11 Feared Dead in Rio Buildings Collapse
Rescue workers search for victims after two buildings collapsed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.   (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

At least 11 people are feared dead after the collapse of two high-rise buildings in downtown Rio de Janeiro. Emergency rescue workers were scrambling to dig out any survivors, and managed to free five people. The buildings, one 20 stories tall, crushed a four-story construction site nearby, and buried the surrounding streets and cars in rubble and dust. Officials are uncertain of a cause, but area witnesses reported smelling gas before the buildings collapsed. "It was like an earthquake," a witness told the BBC. First, some pieces of the buildings started to fall down. People started to run. And then it all fell down at once." (More collapse stories.)

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