Toll in Brazil building collapse rises to 17

January 28th, 2012 - 4:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Rio de Janeiro, Jan 28 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Rescue workers have found the bodies of 17 people killed in the Jan 25 building collapse in Rio de Janeiro, authorities said Saturday.

Officials believe unauthorized construction work inside a 20-story, 72-year-old building damaged its structure and caused it to crumble, wrenching down two neighbouring office buildings of approximately the same age about 8.30 p.m. Wednesday.

The buildings housed offices that had mostly closed for the day and few people were on the normally busy street at the time.

The head of Rio state’s Civil Defense agency said the hunt for survivors will continue until Sunday.

City officials said the accident should not cast doubt on Rio’s ability to organise and host the upcoming 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

“This was an isolated incident that occurred on private property,” the mayor’s office said in a statement. “The case is entirely unrelated to the preparations for the 2014 World Cup, the 2016 Olympic Games and other events that are already part of the city’s calendar.”

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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