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Brazil: nine firefighters die after cave collapse in Sao Paulo

The collapse at dawn this Sunday of a cave in the interior of the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, resulted in the death of nine of the ten firefighters who were trapped while doing training.

“There were 9 dead and one person rescued. There are no more victims in the place,” reported on Twitter the Sao Paulo Fire Department.

The previous part spoke of three dead and six missing. The identity of the victims was not disclosed.

The accident occurred after midnight, while a group of 28 firefighters and instructors carried out training as part of a course inside the cave “Duas Mouths“, located on a private property in the municipality of Altinópolis.

“The ceiling of the cavern fell,” leaving part of the group trapped, he added.

At first, the authorities reported that 15 firefighters had been buried, but later reduced the number to 10, of which only one was rescued alive and taken to a medical center.

Five other people were injured at the time of the collapse, but were never trapped. All were transferred to Mercy Hospital of Altinópolis and were discharged shortly thereafter.

In the rescue work that lasted all day, hampered by the heavy rain, 75 firefighters participated, with about twenty vehicles, police, several members of the health emergency teams and sniffer dogs.

Two helicopters from the Policeman Military they assisted in the transport to the grotto, in a very difficult place and at risk of further collapse.

It was a “very difficult” rescue

Images released by the Fire brigade showed rescuers working tirelessly to clear access to the interior of the grotto.

“The rescue is very difficult due to the conditions. There is more than a kilometer to reach the place. There was a collapse of part of the cave. We are working very cautiously to also preserve the lives of the rescue teams,” he told the site of news G1 Rodrigo Leal, a commander of the Fire brigade.

After the confirmation of the last six fatalities, the authorities concluded the work.

The mayor of Altinópolis, José Robert Ferracin, decreed an official mourning of three days before the “consternation caused in the municipality by the” regrettable tragedy.

“It is with great regret that I receive the news of the death of 9 firefighters in the collapse in Alinopolos. My condolences to family and friends at this difficult time,” wrote on Twitter Carlao Pignatari, governor of Sao Paul in exercise, in the absence of Joao Doria, who participates in Glasgow from the climate conference COP26.

AFP

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