, SAO PAULO, Aug 27 – At least six people were killed early Tuesday when a commercial building under construction collapsed in eastern Sao Paulo, firefighters said.
“There are six dead and 11 people were rescued alive,” a fire department spokesman told AFP in an updated toll. “We do not know exactly how many more people there are under the rubble.”
Local press reports said 19 people were injured when the two story building gave way.
Such accidents involving buildings under construction or old and poorly maintained edifices occur frequently in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s economic capital and most populous city.
Home to 11 million people, this sprawling, bustling metropolis is one of 12 Brazilian host cities for next year’s World Cup.
Television pictures showed extensive damage as rescue workers frantically sifted through rubble in search of survivors.
A distraught woman identified by Globo television as the mother of one of the workers buried under rubble was seen imploring firefighters to locate her son.
Officials said the building for the Torra Torra clothing chain store had been under construction for three months.
The cause of the accident was not yet known but an investigation is under way.
More than 20 fire department vehicles and two helicopters were on the scene.
The area was closed off to traffic to facilitate rescue work.