At least five people died and another ten were injured when two buildings collapsed in a popular neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro on Friday, while rescue teams continue their efforts to locate at least ten other missing persons, officials said.
The City Hall of Rio de Janeiro confirmed the death of two people at the scene and of a man who had been rescued alive, but died hours later at the Unimed-Río Hospital, where he had been transferred.
Also, two other bodies were found in the rubble on Friday afternoon, while firefighters located a child alive and worked to get it out of the rubble.
The deceased are a man of 40 years, a boy of seven and a man who was not yet identified, in addition to the two bodies found in the afternoon.
As reported by the Rio Fire Department, some 90 agents participate in rescue services, which also have the help of sniffer dogs, helicopters, drones, ambulances and carcass collection vehicles.
Among the victims rescued alive, who were admitted to different hospitals in the region, include a four-year-old boy and a girl of 10, both hospitalized in stable conditions, and three adults, who have already been discharged.
The Ministry of Health of the city also reported that a 35-year-old woman remains hospitalized in the Intensive Care Center (CTI) in serious condition, while a man of 46 years and a woman of 44 are stable and under medical observation.
According to witnesses, dozens of people were buried after the collapse of the two buildings in the Muzema neighborhood, in the west of Rio de Janeiro.
The mayor said that about sixty buildings in the region were built "irregularly" in areas of "high risk of collapse" and, until 6:00 pm local time (21.00 GMT) Civil Defense had already prevented access to 13 of them.
Due to the cordoned streets and the risk that nearby buildings could collapse, 23 families were evicted and have received the help of social workers.
The Muzema neighborhood, controlled by armed militias that prevented the demolition of irregular properties, was one of the most affected by the heavy rains that hit Rio de Janeiro this week and left at least ten dead and dozens wounded.
Locals denounced that the militias, which are criminal organizations made up of ex-policemen and corrupt active agents and control various areas of the city, occupy land and build residences to sell illegally.
The "wonderful city" remains in a state of crisis, considered the highest in the scale of emergencies, due to heavy storms.