3 Buildings Mysteriously Collapse in Rio De Janero

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2012-01-27 18:18:33

Attachments : A couple of people have sent me this report, or another related one:   Rio de Janeiro: Prédios Desabam – Buildings Collapse – YouTube www.youtube.com/watc…   www.youtube.com/watc…   Desabamento no Rio – Prefeito Eduardo Paes afirma que causas do acidente ainda são especulações – www.youtube.com/watc…   and: www.bbc.co.uk/news/w… www.bbc.co.uk/news/w…   online.wsj.com/artic… (copied below)     Obviously it’s “early days”, but someone pointed out a witness testimony (need to find source):   From the witness statement it seems that the first that he knew of the collapse was when “stones” started to fall and then as he said,” It reminded him of the 9/11 collapse”. Firstly, where was the sound of an explosion if as has been reported a gas leak was suspected to be the cause ? Secondly, An explosion would have distributed the building material over a much wider area, the fragments being shattered close to the point of percussion, and large lumps would have fallen into a pile. I didn’t see any large lumps, except those that were laid out on the sidewalk opposite the cycle path, and they amounted to about ten or so, looking like smallish stone boulders.   I’m not the expert, here, of course – but my first impressions are:   1)       Clean cut on the adjacent building 2)       “Fuming” seems odd 3)       They seem keen to get the JCB’s early – would you do that if looking for survivors…? 4)       Debris pile does look a little small, but hard to judge without seeing what the original building was like.   Here is a google street view of the area, though I have not been able to yet identify the specific buildings that have gone:   g.co/maps/ma5j7       By JOHN LYONS At least three people are left dead and several injured after the collapse of three office buildings in the center of Brazil ‘s Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday night. (Video: Reuters/Photo: AP) SÃO PAULO, Brazil —Investigators searched for clues Thursday to explain the deadly collapse of three buildings in downtown Rio de Janeiro the night before, which killed at least five people and left piles of rubble at the heart of a city preparing to host soccer’s 2014 World Cup finals and the 2016 Olympics. With plumes of dust still rising over the disaster scene, rescuers with dogs searched for at least 16 people authorities said could be trapped in the debris. Bulldozers scooped chunks of concrete to be carried away by dump trucks. Photos View Slideshow Ari Verisani/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images Brazilian firefighters search for people missing on Thursday after three buildings collapsed in downtown Rio de Janeiro the night before. The collapse occurred after 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the city center, adjacent to the Municipal Theater—the nearly century-old beaux-art-style building where President Barack Obama addressed Brazil ‘s elites during a visit last year. Witnesses told television news that the largest of the three fallen buildings, some 20 stories high, appeared to crash down first, taking two smaller buildings with it. All three buildings were commercial, which reduced potential casualties since the collapse occurred after business hours. At least six people were injured. City officials say they don’t yet know what caused the collapse. Local speculation quickly turned to possible structural weakness in the tallest building caused by ongoing construction work on at least two floors. Local construction regulators said no construction permits were on file for the building, suggesting that if work was under way, it was in violation of local building codes. Some TV news broadcasts suggested an explosion from a gas leak was a possibility. “The strongest possibility is that there was a structural weakness,” Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes said in a televised interview. “It’s all speculation right now. But we don’t think there was a gas leak.” The disaster is certain to focus attention on Rio de Janeiro ‘s crumbling infrastructure and the upgrade city officials are hoping to pull off before hosting major international sporting events in coming years. The collapse was far from the Maracana stadium where Rio will host World Cup games in two years—and even farther from where most of the Olympic Games will be held. But the city’s airports, highways and other infrastructure are aging, and suffered from poor upkeep during the lean economic times of past decades. Thursday’s grim wait was punctuated by stories of some people pulled from the wreckage. Alexandro Fonseca, a 31-year-old construction worker, said he was bringing construction materials to the ninth floor of the tallest of the collapsed buildings, when he saw the roof swaying. Fearing the worst, he jumped back into the elevator, he said, and found himself inside a free-falling elevator. The elevator crashed. But he was alive. To Mr. Fonseca’s amazement, his cellphone still worked. He called a friend, who helped to direct rescue workers to his location.  

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